Posted on Aug 9, 2020
CPT Member Service Representative
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ALCON:

As of this morning, a COL of a downtrace unit received a message from the ENT at a location in which he is scheduled to assist with 6 major head and neck cases. The ENT mentioned to the COL that he would have to reschedule the patients if he was not on a flight by 1300 as he would not have any other individuals to assist with the surgeries. The COL had a flight scheduled in DTS for yesterday; however, the Exception to Policy (ETP) for travel had not been approved -- meaning his DTS would not be approved. As such, the COL was still waiting on our higher to take action and approve the ETP as of 1030 this morning. Here is where I have concerns and take issue with the way this has been handled: The scheduled head and neck cases are predicated on the presence and successful arrival of this COL in a mission which I would personally deem critical. If I were the COL, I would have left yesterday during the scheduled flight and pushed for the DTS to be approved with the condition of adding the ETP later on the back end of the mission. The inaction of the higher echelon, as well as lack of sound judgement concerns me. Individuals occupying positions in which they are not qualified (whether S1, S3, or whomever the approval authority is in this case) or failure to understand the timeliness of their actions is also problematic. They had been approving ETPs for random travel requests that have not been this critical in nature. In this situation, they have been taking their time, which is of the essence. This COL's skillsets are needed to potentially save lives or improve the quality of life for the individuals in need of surgical care. Why is it so difficult to push a button and input the pin for a CAC signature that takes less than a minute? This is a no brainer, and yet the MDMP being utilized is not logical or even remotely close to being acceptable. We need to do better for our Soldiers and not keep them waiting last minute when it comes to these situations. Thoughts and opinions are welcomed.

Very Respectfully,
CPT Edward Krohn, MBA
Edited 1 mo ago
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Responses: 9
CSM Command Sergeant Major
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I dont believe your tickets are officially purchased until it is authorized by the approving authority, so just leaving may not have worked.
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CPT Member Service Representative
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1 mo
You are correct, CSM. The question then becomes why the DTS official didn't just push through the request and annotate in the remarks that the ETP is being processed and will be added in accordance with policy following the mission.
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CSM Command Sergeant Major
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1 mo
That makes sense... CPT (Join to see)
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A1C Prisoner
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I think there’s a saying that goes “do what your stripes can handle”.

I’ve always been a fan of proactivity when it comes to dealing with higher ups because I know they have a lot going on and while it may be really important to me they probably have a slew of other important things and no important things to deal with...and sometimes they just aren’t necessarily good at time management.

I like to check back on things on an interval basis, with the frequency increasing the nearer the deadline gets. I escalate from emails, to phone calls to showing up in person if necessary. The people at AFPC knew me by voice at one point. I’d also get my command involved if I had a good one

As an officer idk what pull you have but I’d think this is something you’d be able to make the executive decision about and then deal with the consequences on the back end since you’re saying it does involve lives.
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CPT Member Service Representative
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1 mo
I provided this guidance to the downtrace unit to convey to their COL. I even used the similar saying to what you provided. My exact words were as follows:

The rules of current Army practice suggests do what his rank can handle. There are not too many individuals who would argue against a course of action where he is putting his skills to use while potentially saving lives / improving the quality of life.

As a COL he has more pull than he realizes, especially as a Physician and TPU Soldier.

Thanks for your feedback.
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CPT Brigade Intelligence (S2)
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As a former BN ODTA, I came across this similar issue that you're having. I was in a MI BN and we're sending people to different locations in support of different operations. I only needed to go through two people. What I did was I would talk to my BN commander and explained to him the situation and received a green light from the commander. I then talked to my BN AO and had him ready to sign the DTS authorization as soon as it came up. If the AO was not available to sign, I would get a verbal confirmation from the AO and call the ticketing office to go ahead and issue the ticket to the traveler. It cut down so many bureaucratic processes and increased a quick turn around.
Idk why the COL would have to wait on people. All he needs is to make one phone call to the brigade/battalion commander and things would magically happen.
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SGM Erik Marquez
SGM Erik Marquez
1 mo
Sort of accurate.
Unless of course you’re in a division or Cory headquarters and you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a COL they don’t rate really Highup on the hierarchy

That said our division chiefs which were kernels or lieutenant colonel’s when I was division G3 regardless of rank got immediate access to things like that as a DTS reviewer and at one point approver it’s very hard sometimes from the automated system to know the urgency of a request so it’s got to be followed up with a personal phone call otherwise it just sits in queue and the reviewer or approver will get to it when they get to it That said our division chiefs which were kernels or Lieutenant Carlos when I was division G3 regardless of rank got immediate access to things like that as a DTS reviewer and at one point approver it’s very hard sometimes from the automated system to know the urgency of a request so it’s got to be followed up with a personal phone call otherwise it just sits in queue and the reviewer or approver will get to it when they get to it
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