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MSgt Section Chief, Mission Defense Team
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The person officiating this retirement ceremony responded on Facebook when the video was posted. Apparently there was some bad blood between the honoree's commander and the retired SMSgt. PA office at Travis has responded with what on the outside looks like spin, saying the Commander was removing someone who interefered with the "authorized" script.

Here's the officiating official's post in full:
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I was the officiating officer for this ceremony.

First, a little back story. Mr Rodriguez, a retiree and prior honor guard, was invited to speak the words to the flag folding ceremony at a previous retirement in the same squadron the month before, of which this honoree attended. He was so moved by his performance, he invited Mr Rodriguez to do the same for him, to which he accepted. When the squadron CC first saw Mr Rodriguez at the previous ceremony, it was too late to act. He then discovered Mr Rodriguez was to attend this one. He banned Mr Rodriguez from attending and prohibited him from entering the building. He then recanted, as he discovered he couldn't prevent him from being there as a guest, but then insisted Mr Rodriguez wasn't to say the words. This all stems from a personal issue at a previous squadron between the squadron CC and Mr Rodriguez. The honoree considered this HIS ceremony and wanted Mr Rodriguez to do this not only for him, but for his wife, son, family and friends, as well. Mr Rodriguez cleared his performance through other higher commanders and legal counsel. All approved of his plan to do it. So, at the end of the ceremony, the flag folding ensued, and when Mr Rodriguez began reciting the words, he was wrestled out by multiple individuals, to include the squadron CC (I don't know if he laid hands on Mr Rodriguez, but he condoned the action by allowing these guys to do it, and not stopping it). Multiple people left the room and the rest of the ceremony went on, with justifiable discomfort.

Now, to the person commenting on the position of the flag. The flag WAS in the correct position for the ceremony. It was moved out of the way to view a slideshow about the honoree and it was in the way.

Now on to my soapbox. Maybe now people will listen to me about the cancerous leadership that has invaded the Air Force. This commander had two choices: shut up and color or don't attend. Hey; Mark Welsh! Why do you think people are leaving in droves? Because the guys in the trenches are subjected to nonstop stupidity from Commanders who don't deserve the rank, respect, or support of the people they're in charge of. Yeah, I know today's commander. You wrote your own OPR, filling it with self-aggrandizing accomplishments you knew no one would check. You did SOS by correspondence and studied the dirty purples for ACSC. You lied, cheated and stole any chance you could to make yourself look better on paper than you could ever look in person. You then went to Maxwell, the most worthless waste in the Air Force to do in-residence leadership school. There, you played flickerball and studied the answers, given to you by previous attendees, to tests that have little to do with leadership and then are forced out into the little Air Force world to learn how to climb on the backs of others to get your star. Then you have the audacity and gall to quote accomplished military leaders, expecting and assuming that if you can regurgitate enough inspirational quotes, your minions will blindly follow as you implement your own predisposed and skewed idea of what leadership should be, and ignoring what those whom you quoted really meant. Our airman have ZERO advocacy and ZERO confidence in Air Force managers. We don't have leaders, we have accountants. Just like this Squadron CC who put his own wants, needs, and desires above that of his troops. He probably is the first in line to get food and the first one to check in to his hotel. So pathetic. And the best part? This CC is leaving this squadron for another position THIS WEEK!! He has ZERO skin in the game.

So, about myself. I retired after 28 years of honorable service. I had 13.5 years as enlisted and 14.5 years as an officer. I graduated number 1 from ERAU (on campus) with a 4.0 GPA, summa cum laude and was honored with outstanding graduate. I've been A-10 Maint, a C-5 Loadmaster, a KC-10 boom operator and a KC-10 instructor pilot. I've graduated nearly every single Air Force training program as a DG or in the top 3%. So go ahead and tell me I'm the problem. That I don't know what I'm talking about. After 28 years, I walked out the door with no ceremony, no fanfare, nothing. Why? Because that's the caustic environment our accountants have propagated and nurtured. And I was glad to accommodate.

I'm embarrassed, one of my best friends is embarrassed and his friends and family are left with a WTF about military traditions! As far as I'm concerned, Mark Welsh, this squadron commander and the entire Air Force can go F themselves. The only time I've ever had the honor of being asked to do this for my friend, and this, THIS RIDICULOUS STUPIDITY, will tarnish my friends great memories.

Feel free to ask questions. JQP, that enough insight for you? I appreciate the stories you bring to the front. But the only problem is, the people who should be reading it, aren't. And if they do, it only serves to tighten the noose of those doing the grunt work. The accountants understand one thing and one thing only: what will prevent me from getting promoted.

Now you can go back to the Free Exercise of religion CBT, sleeping through Chem Defense, learn how to rape and get away with it, and submitting your DTS voucher for the 10th time.

My hands were literally shaking when I wrote that response because I was, and still am, so mad.
Hey, Air Force accountants! You don't teach leadership, you nurture it, morons!.A leader doesn't look good on paper. He looks good in the eyes of those he fights with. Being a leader isn't rocket surgery. It comes from the heart. It's putting everyone else's needs above your own. It's being the last guy to step on the airplane. It's finding your own way to billeting because there wasn't anymore room on the bus taking your guys there. It's being the last to get food after you made sure everybody's been through the line. So many Crew Chiefs came up to me that day to thank me for being one of the last great Aircraft Commanders. Somebody that looked out for them. I've pulled my guys off the airplane so they could get to bed. Then I ordered them to unplug their phone so TACC wouldn't keep calling them. Don't worry about the jet. It'll be there tomorrow. Why? Because I'm telling them to pound sand. My crew isn't going anywhere. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, messes with my crew! And that includes my crew chiefs. I've delayed missions so my guys could eat. I've canceled missions so my guys could sleep. 17 hours of busting knuckles trying to get an airplane fixed so we could take one pallet of household shit to Hawaii. Forget it. I've been out on the jet helping them fix it. If we had one boom operator, I set the brake, left the clean up to the copilot and FE and helped my Boom do the 20 pallet upload. I was told that I worried about my guys too much. I laugh and tell them that I'm almost worrying about them enough then.

So how do you protect the airman today? Easy. Forget about that rank on your shoulder. That shield is not there so you can plow your way through to the top, it's there to deflect the shit that's about to hit your guys. The rungs of the ladder you're trying to climb are made of human bodies. Maybe that's your son or daughter, or your wife or husband. They are somebody's family. The reason I had a successful career is because I made it clear that I didn't ask anybody to do anything I wasn't willing to do or had already done. We overcame duty and rank by being friends who took care of each other. They wouldn't put me in a bad position because you don't do that to friends. I don't put them in a bad position because I have respect for the shit they have to endure. We have mutual respect for each other. You communicate. You listen, you mentor. Communicating is the one thing you'll spend your entire career failing at. It's not about you talking, it's about sending a message and receiving feedback that your message was understood the way you intended it. Open your eyes and ears, and listen to what your guys are saying. Body language says as much as words.

A great DO once told me, in today's Air Force, you can't embody the Air Force core values and be a team player. After seeing what the crony establishment did to him, I decided my career was bullshit. Now it was about making it fun for my guys. And the accountants fear two things: the court of public opinion and the guy who doesn't have anything left to lose.

Once you're ready to accept that LOR for protecting the well being of your troops, then you're fit to lead.
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SSgt Team Member
SSgt (Join to see)
>1 y
I'm one of those airmen who is burnt out on my job. And it's funny, Bc my ncoic is to much of a damn pussy to watch out for us, protect us. Hell my supervisor doesn't even look out for us. I'm a e-4 team chief, I look out for my team. By the ref you can be a team chief till ur an e-5. But guess what the e-5's have more unsats from qa. Me n my team have never gone unsat. But I still got a not ready on my epr. But yet this Ssgt who drank on the job then threw his troops under the bus saying we should have told him to stop punish them. Then for leadership to be like that makes sense then let the Ssgt off Scot free and punish HIS whole troop. Air Force leadership is non existent.
I don't regret joining but I do regret ever working for these fucktarded holigans
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SFC James Martin
SFC James Martin
>1 y
Too many bitchmen officers in all branches of the service.
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SMSgt Bob Wilson
SMSgt Bob Wilson
1 y
Wow! Must not got promoted.
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1st Lt Padre Dave Poedel
1st Lt Padre Dave Poedel
6 mo
As an E-4 who had a less than “satisfactory” attitude toward my 14 year E-5 supervisor who blocked my promotion to E-5 at 3 years because I was a “bad example of a NCO”. Years later when I returned to the Air Force Reserve, I was direct-commissioned into the Medical Service Corps and was the Administrator of a Reserve Hospital Detachment at the same base I served on active duty. One of my colleagues from the day was still there! I took care of our troops and when I was required to deal with an airman’s questionable conduct and judgement, I took the opposite approach my supervisors took. He learned the error of his ways, but also learned that we cared about him because he was part of our. Unit. I have always seen Air Force leadership as a bunch of weenies, which is what cut my military career off and I left to devote more time to my studies for the ministry. My heart was not bitter as I did try to get recommissioned as a Chaplain so I could serve the force in Iraq and wherever……my endorsing agency informed me that I was too old, even with prior enlisted and commissioned service, and told me I would need “to sit this war out”. I tried!
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SMSgt James Fuhr
141
141
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In the 27 years that I served in the USAF I have never seen such utter disrespect. Who in their right mind would interfere with someone's retirement regardless of differences between the CC and the SNCO. Very big black eye for the USAF!
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SMSgt Michelle CMichelle
SMSgt Michelle CMichelle
>1 y
LCpl (Join to see) - sorry the airman retiring him invited him AND wanted him to speak. and if you read the story the person DOES say he WAS INVITED AND ASKED TO GIVE THE EXPLANATION OF THE FLAG. I had the same thing at MY retirement ceremony - the explanation I mean not the disrespect to another Senior NCO.
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TSgt James Hadley
TSgt James Hadley
>1 y
The disrespect to the service, the unit, and the flag is reprehensible!!!!!
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TSgt Security Forces
TSgt (Join to see)
>1 y
LCpl (Join to see) - to answer your question, the retired SNCO was invited as a guest from the Sgt that was retiring...the acting CC and the retired SNCO had a rough past history...and it was the CC that ordered that the invited SNCO be removed from the ceremony.
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SPC Joe Restuccia Jr.
SPC Joe Restuccia Jr.
>1 y
Why is the video not available here: someone's long arm strikes again (?) Thanks John Q Public for still showing the video! Ashamed to be affiliated with these folks
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MSgt 1 C6 X1 Cdc Writer
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I shared this one around this morning. If that was my retirement ceremony I think I'd have to ask the CO to leave. The ceremonies have formats, but those are deviated from a bit here & there on a regular basis depending how the retiring member wants theirs to go. So the question is what deviation was so egregious to ruin someone's retirement after 20+ years of serving that couldn't be addressed afterward on the side? The CO needs to put the Air Force and their troops ahead of their own personal opinions. A considerable failure of Core Values (Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do...none of which exhibited here IMO).
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SSgt John Collins
SSgt John Collins
>1 y
TSgt Denise Moody - With all due respect TSgt Moody,had that been my retirement ceremony,much mayhem would have ensued .
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TSgt Denise Moody
TSgt Denise Moody
>1 y
SSgt John Collins - We each have our own way. To me, getting up and walking out would be the best way to figuratively slap the face of everyone involved. Starting a fight would just be showing disrespect to everyone else in attendance. Of course it would also be good to pause at the door and invite everyone else to leave with me and go to a different venue to celebrate.
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SGT Robert Withrow
SGT Robert Withrow
>1 y
SPC Jason Dunn - I understand being pissed but to use that as a reason to not allow your son's to join is ignorant.... Furthermore, one serves in the military to serve and defend their country and way of life.... Not to win medals and other awards.... Unbelievable
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SSG Corey Spradlin
SSG Corey Spradlin
>1 y
Senior NCO's are the ones who were junior NCO's that that everyone wanted to curb stomp for being such little suck up's.
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