Tennessee National Guard Puppet Reenlistment

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.





2017 Government Shut-down

I figured this post was well-warranted since we are technically in “Government Shut-Down” mode as of midnight last night. The last government shut-down we had was in 2013, which lasted almost two weeks. Yes, those two weeks sucked for the military because our forces were basically cut in half without our civilian Department of Defense employees, and there was twice the amount of work for the active duty component; however, we knew (or I hope most of us knew) that once it was all over, we were going to get paid for the work we do and we would be back-paid for the time spent in shut-down mode… But even if we didn’t get back-paid, we are in the military, we made that commitment to support and defend the Commander-in-Chief, AKA the President of the United States.

Let me remind you of our Oath of Enlistment/Commission:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army/Navy/Air Force/USMC of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

Even though we do not get paid and we’re expected to work, this is what we signed up for. We are that 1% that signed up to basically be a public servant, and we just need to keep faith in our military system that they will be taking care of us.

There are plenty of resources available to help each other out. I’m not well-versed in the other branches, but I know that there is the Air Force Assistance Funds. This program is designed to helped Airmen out in times of crisis, just go to your Airmen & Family Readiness Center to discuss. Also, I know that USAA and other financial institutions are creating plans specifically to carry our military members through this shut down. Lastly, IF there are truly no other options and money is super tight for you, you can opt into a Thrift Savings Plan loans, granted you have a TSP account to begin with. There are so many financial resources out there to help you and your family out, you just have to be calm and think logically through this manner.

Again, we are considered to be public servants. PLEASE, do not think you can protest this shut-down if you are part of the military! In 2013, a handful of military members were discharged because they went AWOL because they refused to work without pay. You cannot do this, no matter how much you don’t like whats going on. Just keep true faith and allegiance to your government that they can hopefully come to some resolution and be down with this.

At this time, we just need to be hopeful and not blame what’s going on in Washington. There are a lot of things that we don’t know, which may be above our pay grades. The only things you see is what the media puts out, so don’t stress yourself out so much about what they’re saying because its probably not the full story.