Clearly, we haven’t learned our lesson from that one TSgt from Nellis AFB of what not to post on social media. And while this is a “bit” better from ranting about one’s workplace problems that can probably be solved by better leadership skills, this one is a huge slap in the face for those who have served and are currently serving.
At first, there were a couple of posts stating that this was an unofficial Oath of Enlistment (first, I didn’t know there was such thing; and second, still, WHY?) and others that stated the MSgt who is taking the Oath was doing this for her children. In a way, maybe I get it because April is “Month of the Military Child,” but saying you’re doing it for your children is a terrible reason. I understand that maybe the logic behind it was to make it seem more child-friendly and hopefully help children understand the Oath of Enlistment, but for me, this tradition is an honor that should be held with the utmost respect and shouldn’t be mocked like this. As with everything in our lives, there’s always a time an place for goofing off, and this isn’t one of them.
Another potential thought (though I’m really not giving them excuses to hide behind, I’m just trying to figure out the why) is that they want to make a “unique” spin on the Oath of Enlistment. When my Dad did his Oath of Enlistment for the Navy, him and his crew hiked up a mountain to conduct the ceremony at it’s peak. I’ve also heard some special forces guys do it when they’re sky-diving. These are all really cool and unique ways to do it, but none of which really were made in such an immature way. In times of trying to be “the first” to do something – anything – out of the ordinary, this unit has definitely gotten to that place, and with pretty severe but warranted punishments.
While there are so many talking points that I could extract from this video, my last mention on this topic is the bitterness of how this reflects on the entire military and Air Force, even though they are a National Guard unit. I will admit that I can become pretty bitter when it comes to the Reserves and Guard when it comes to rank, because the way they get it is like passing out candy. For the Active Duty component, testing into the next rank makes it seem like we’re made to sacrifice a bit of our lives (no pun intended). So when you’ve got an NCO who’s been in for about 10 years & had SSgt on for seven years, it definitely leaves a bitter taste in your mouth when a six-year Reservist who doesn’t know a lick about their job think that they are equal… because in my mind, they are not. Granted, I have come to know a handful of Reservists and Guardsmen who do great things in their military job, but unfortunately, the negative outweighs the positive… Such as this video. In terms of equality, I don’t feel like Reserves/Guard puts as much pressure on their people to become exceptional leaders and to focus on Airmen growth as much as Active Duty does. To me, it feels like it’s a dog-eat-dog world and who you can throw under the bus first in order to get ahead.
And while I do absolutely show every bit of respect to those higher-ranking than me, regardless of what component they are in, it also leaves a bitter taste in my mouth when they do something so childish like this, yet they are higher-ranking than me. These are the people that I should and expected to look up to, but how can you when they fail to see the errors in their actions? I suppose the best lesson this can teach you is an example of what not to do.