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.

 

 

 

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April is Month of the Military Child!

My little military brats!

They say that being in the military is a tough job, but I honestly don’t think it’s that tough as people may think. Yeah, the possibility of deployments, TDYs (Temporary Duties, or “business trips”), long hours at work, etc. may seem stressful initially, but they’re all quite liveable and I can get by… However, that’s just me coping with stressors, but I’m not the only one that carry these burdens on my shoulders. My children carry those burdens, too.

Growing up, I had the “luxury” of remaining in one place my whole childhood: I had the same group of friends growing up, grew up in the same house, went to the same school as my sisters, and even had the same job as one of them. And it’s funny that I can now call my own childhood a luxury compared to my children’s life and their futures.

My oldest just turned seven years old last month, and from what I can remember, he’s only had one birthday where he invited his friends from school and daycare. It’s not because we’re a super introverted family (because we’re not), it’s because military families are constantly moving around. In his lifetime, he has moved three times due to my PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders. And I am super grateful that he’s a pretty positive child that can make friends with just about anyone. Not only has my oldest endured these moves, but he’s also endured many other unfortunate events that have occurred in my personal life and military career. He never asked to experience any of this, but I am so thankful for having such a resilient child to pick up without being put down for a long time.

We are all reminded in the military to not take our families for granted, because when we take off our uniforms for the last time, our families will be the only thing we have left. Sometimes, days get hard and work just piles on our plate, so missing a few soccer practices are okay, but it’s bad when you neglect your duties as a parent. This is why this month is so important! Celebrate you children and love them everyday. You have only one shot at watching them grow up.

To the disrespectful teacher in California

Dear sir,

Congratulations on your recent internet fame that you’ve inherited! I am one of the many members of the United States Armed Forces that you classified as a “dumb shit”. I’d like to share with you my life experiences, and why I decided to join the military a year after high school.

In high school, I was a part of the Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps (JROTC), probably the type of students that you favor in belittling in your classroom. At first, I didn’t want to join JROTC, but my mother convinced me to join anyway. Our compromise was that I would only have to do it for one semester, and I could choose to leave if this wasn’t for me. Turns out, I found my place in the world and decided to remain in JROTC for the rest of my high school career. I was so focused and dedicated to this class or club, that I ended up becoming the cadet commander of my unit. All of the valuable lessons I’ve learned, that I still reflect on to this day, were learned in this class as a leader… Can you believe, that me, a 16-something year old was commanding a unit of over 100+? Fascinating, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, I didn’t go to college right after high school despite taking classes that could’ve transferred over as college credits. Instead, as I’ve already mentioned, I joined the United States Air Force a year after graduating. To be honest with you, joining the Air Force, to me, is not a bad gig at all. Since I did 4-years of JROTC, I was already promoted to E-3 since joining the military (usually, people can receive this rank after graduating basic training/boot camp if they enlisted for 6-years), and because I was given the Congressman Herbert Advanced placement award, or CHAPA letter, I was able to chose up to 5 jobs in the military that I wanted to do. 10+ years later, I am still a medic and have not regretted my decision.

The military also treats me very well for serving them. I receive a steady paycheck, minus the occasional government shut-downs; however, there are many resources that are available to me that can help me out in times of need. I enjoy free education in the career field of my choosing. I’m sure technical training or trade school is probably not up to your standards, but if times get tough and there is an event where I have to leave the military, I still have my certifications to land me a decent job out on the economy. Also, I receive $4,500 per fiscal year for tuition assistance on top of the Post 9/11 GI Bill that I paid into. My family also benefits from me being in the military, in that their health insurance is free. They don’t have to worry about not being able to go to the doctors because coverage is too expensive. They also have a great community support system for those times that I have to leave for deployments or other necessary mission tasking.

Anyway, enough about me, let me also talk about some of the great officers I’ve met and have served under. I think you referred them as “not high level thinkers”. When I was deployed, my flight surgeon only had 6-months under his belt before he deployed. Before then, he had his own Family Health Clinic, but gave it to his colleague so he can join the military and support our war-fighters. My last squadron commander first enlisted into the Air Force, but was later picked up for Physician’s Assistance school. My last flight commander was also prior enlisted in the Army, but separated from the service to pursue her Nursing degree. She returned as a Nurse Practitioner, and now she is on the east coast for her doctorates. In addition to these three officers who are very important to me, there are may other officers in the healthcare field that have written and published articles for the medical community, proven theories, and most importantly, saved countless lives. And to make my last statement bolder, they didn’t just save our brother and sisters in arms, they have also gone on humanitarian missions to third-world countries and saved lives out there, too.

Sir, I know that, in this day and age, being in the military and having a sense of pride in one’s country is a scarce thing to come by; however, it is us that gave you the right to exercise the First Amendment of our Constitution – Freedom of Speech. I’m not sure if you know this, but being in the military, you don’t get to exercise this right, and you expected to “obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me”. Of course, we have the authority to disobey orders that we deem to be immoral, thus enforcing us to become those “high level thinkers” you think we are not. Either way, you are welcome for that right and the fact that myself, my husband, and my brothers & sisters in arms fight for that right to remain in this place.

Before I end this open letter to you, I’d like to leave you a quote from Gen George S. Patton, a famous General from WWII. He is currently buried in a military cemetery in Luxembourg, maybe you ought to visit his tombstone to pay some sort of respect to those that paved the way for your freedom you enjoy to this day.

Better to fight for something than live for nothing.

//Signed//

A Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force

That one TSgt at Nellis AFB

ICYMI, a TSgt stationed at Nellis AFB decided to post a public rant on FaceBook Live about her disrespectful “black female” subordinates. If you haven’t gotten the chance to see this video, you can watch it here.

While I chose to create a post about this incident, I do not intend for my post to perpetuate her internet fame. Rather, I’d like to use this as some sort of teaching tool since I could think of no better way to teach my Airmen about proper internet etiquette. And, yes, I am upset that there are members of the same Air Force that I currently serve in, who are higher ranking than me, and who do not show the same level of “good order and discipline”. However, this fact does not mean that should follow their lead and abandon the Air Force core values that are ingrained in me. At the end of the day, I still have Airmen that are under my supervision, who look to my for guidance and an example of what they ought to become in the future as leaders.

With that being said, lets go over the important lessons this video has to offer all of us.

#1 – NEVER air out your dirty laundry

Quite an obvious thing to do, but I’ve realized that common sense is not so common now-a-days. A LOT of my friends air out their dirty laundry all the time on their FaceBooks, and that’s okay, but this isn’t something you’d typically see me doing. Despite my outward personality, I am a fairly private person; I don’t like to publicly state my problems on Facebook unless I have a truly valid reason. I feel like it has to do with a level of maturity, but I’m also not saying that my friends who are okay with doing this, are immature. To me, it just seems better to figure things on your own, or fight your battles quietly instead of having everyone in your business.

#2 – Race has nothing to do with anything

I absolutely hate how she calls out a particular group of people in this rant. My husband and I both agree that, if she decided to leave out a particular race and a particular group of people, maybe her rant would’ve been taken in a whole different manner. Instead, she will be forever known as “that racist TSgt”. It truly doesn’t matter if is was or wasn’t before she made the decision to make this video. This is what she will be known for, and quite frankly, race has nothing to do with the way that people treat their higher ups. In ways, I felt personally offended by this video, not because I belonged to the targeted group (because I’m not a black female), but because I’ve had a variety of Airmen under my supervision from different races. Not once have I encountered the same problems that she did. Yes, I can relate to the derogatory “yes ma’am” that she mentions, but, as an NCO, I nipped that in the bun. I actually took the time to pull my Airmen aside and counseled them, and ascertained whether or not they meant it in a disrespectful manner. And if they were being disrespectful to me, I counseled them because I am the NCO and I am the leader… which leads me to #3.

#3 – She is the leader, and they are the followers

As an NCO, she has the authority to counsel and administer administrative punishments (MFRs, LOCs, LOAs, LORs…. basically, paperwork) to her followers that are not abiding to the standards of the Air Force/military or the ones she set out for them. Soooooo, maybe the problem isn’t with her Airmen; maybe the problem lies within the leader, which is her. One of the main points that I make with my Airmen when I conduct their initial feedbacks is that we are all professionals in the profession of arms. We are all adults, and we should conduct ourselves in that manner. I don’t care if they have “beef” with someone else at work because at the end of the day, the mission comes first, and sometimes we have to work alongside people we don’t necessarily get along with or like. Just because they work with someone they don’t like, doesn’t mean that they have to hang out with them after work. I tell them to leave their personal problems at the clinic doors when they report for duty. Also, our job as NCOs is to not be “best friends” with our troops. Yes, its a HUGE bonus when you can be on a relate-able level with your Airmen, but it won’t be like that in every instance. Sometimes we have to be that asshole and correct them when they’re wrong. And on the flip-side to that, if you counsel your Airmen correctly and fairly, yeah they’re going to be upset/mad/pissed off at you, but the intention is to correct them and hope that they understand where they went wrong.

#4 – “I’m trying my best to hold my professionalism with them”

Everyone who has watched this agrees that she obviously didn’t hold any amount of professionalism once she decided to made this video. This goes with #1 and #3 in this post. I’ll admit, there have been plenty of times that I felt my professionalism kind of slip because I couldn’t handle a situation, but my thought process is to consult with someone of higher ranking than me that I could trust. Mentors make all the difference in a leadership world… And while I mention this fact, it further irritates me that she even thought to do this when leaders are constantly told to bounce ideas off of each other. Which is the same truth for problems they encounter in the leadership role.

#5 – R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what that means to… your Airmen 

My Airmen and I have had a few informal mentorship moments about “respect” after they saw this video. This also bounces off of #3, when I mentioned administering punishment fairly. My Airmen know that I hate giving out paperwork, but they also know that if I have to, there’s a very good reason why; I’m transparent with them. My Airmen also know that if they have a problem, they can come talk to me… within reason, and its not about something that makes me a mandatory reporter. Respect for a leader begins with trusting them, and you can bet that those under her have no respect for her whatsoever; beit before OR AFTER this video. If she has that many problems with her Airmen not “showing her respect”, or the proper respect she feels so entitled to, maybe it is because they don’t trust her at all… Respect is not an entitlement at all, its definitely earned.

#6 – Preventing a fight club

If she feels there is THAT much hostility in her workplace, its seems like she should probably call on some type of mediation with her Airmen. As I write this post, I don’t claim to be a perfect NCO myself, because I know that I am definitely not. Although I try to strive for perfection, I know that there are areas that really need some improvement when it comes to leading people. The last clinic I ran at my last base was probably my most challenging, but has given me a lot of valuable lessons, to include calling for some sort of mediation – something’s gotta give at one point, and it shouldn’t be your Airmen’s morale or well-being. Just because I am a leader doesn’t mean that I can handle every situation that comes my way, and I do need some assistance from my supervisor or supervisor’s supervisor.

#7 – Be careful of what FaceBook groups you join

This fact isn’t publicly highlighted in this video, but the TSgt decided to post this video in a group called “Nellis burn book”. There have been some claims circulating that she is one of the group’s monitors, which gives me knots in my stomach. If you’re unsure of the reference, I’d like to think that the phrase “burn book” was inspired from Tina Fey’s movie “Mean Girls”; and if that’s the case, why is this even a thing? This definitely calls out straight-up unprofessionalism if you joined a group called Nellis Burn Book. Even though I’m not part of this group, it sounds like the type of group where immature people go to air out or talk crap about people on-base. Everyone has their own opinions and beliefs about people, but sometimes its best just to keep it to yourself because you never know who it’ll affect.

 

That’s all I have to say about this event, and I hope that she does not embody what you now think about members of the military. On her behalf, I truly apologize to those that were affected, because they don’t deserve the level of treatment she may bestow upon them. What were your thoughts when you saw this rant?

2018 goals

Happy New Years!! It’s time to start running and taking off with your New Year’s Resolution’s and goals!!

People say to “speak your goals into existence,” and you’ll be able to achieve them… but there’s also a belief that if you tell everyone about your goals, the lesser likelihood of them coming to fruition. Sooooooo, which one is it?

Believe it or not, I’m more of a private person when it comes to speaking about my goals; those that need to know my goals and intention do know, and others, well don’t. And I’m not that way because I’m a butt about it, its a part of me being humble and trying not to speak so much about myself. I also feel like if I say something on FaceBook, I feel like I’m more apt to achieve or do that goal, otherwise I’m a total let-down or failure. Some of my goals are kind of just “in the cards” or “right time, right place”.

For instance, my main goal for this year is to make the next rank (Technical Sergeant/E-6 in the Air Force). Its highly attainable, however, it also depends on the amount of time I put into studying. And, by all means, I am definitely not a book-smart person. The last time I actually put forth the effort in studying was 2 years ago, and I didn’t even make it. I felt like a complete let-down and total loser for not making it. Hopefully this year, I’ll actually persevere and make it, but it just depends if I’m in the right time and right place. 

Another professional-type goal for myself is to hurry up and put in my application for the Inter-service Physician’s Assistant Program (IPAP). I’m intending to submit my first package in by 2019 or 2020. Highly do-able, but my life will generally suck in the meantime. I’m also coming up to the five-year mark which means most of my classes will likely need to be repeated. Either way, if I don’t get accepted to the IPAP, my Plan B is to switch my degree plan to obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Next year, I’ll have 10 years of military service under my belt and it would be such a waste to quit at 12-13 years… Might as well ride out the 20 years at that point and collect retirement.

As far as my husband’s and my combined goal, we’re planning on getting rid of our debts together. Since well now have two kids to claim on our taxes for this year, we’re estimating a good tax refund that will take out a good portion of our debts. The rest we’ll just have to find a means of paying it and not using our credit cards. This is such a huge problem for me because I am quite a spender but, if I’m dedicating myself to constant studying for anything, I should theoretically be spending less… At least, I’d like to think so.

My last goal for 2018 is to pay more attention to my Perfectly Posh business. Its not so much as to finding people to recruit under me or “building my company.”  I’m looking more into spreading my reach-out for new customers and not making money just on myself. I’d like to say, with a new baby and moving to a new base totally messed up my Feng Shui,  but it probably didn’t. I do enjoy selling Perfectly Posh and being a total advocate for them, but I think it’s time to make money off of it instead of losing money from it.

Four goals for this year seems to be a good way to refocus on myself and my family, what do you think? What are some of your goals you’d like to see become a reality?

 

8 things to do (at home) to save money

I’m in the military and I have the luxury of having 9-to-5 work hours (its more like 0730 to 1630), plus my weekends off… Currently, my husband does not, which is a total buzz-kill for my weekends. BUT, I’m not complaining about that, since we’re living in a dual-income household; single-income really sucks, even though the bread-winner is in the military. Side-note: we’re REALLY hoping he’ll be able to transition from reserve to active duty next year, and then our would be looking better financially.

Anyway, since husband is making that dough mostly on the weekends/my time off, I usually stay at home. In part, because we have two young children, and it becomes a nuisance to corral & pack up the kiddos to do anything outside of the house. And since I’m staying at home, I’m technically saving money… So long as I don’t wind up browsing through Amazon. The only problem with that is, I get bored very easily.

So, how do I save money, and resist the urge to online shop? Well, here’s a list of things I could do around the house. I’m sure there will be lots of changes along the way, but that’s great!! It means I’m saving some serious moolah!

#1 – Clean the house – I’m pretty sure you knew this one was coming, or that it would be on my list somewhere. There is literally always something to clean around this house, considering we are a 4-person household with two little boys. Cleaning primarily means laundry and dishes… Either way, you know what I mean by cleaning the house!

#2 – Declutter – This is an attempt at living the minimalist lifestyle. Its ridiculous how much crap we accrue each year, and how much of that crap we basically abandon and forget about. As a bonus, you can actually make money by selling some of your unwanted items on local yard-sale or marketplaces on FaceBook. Craigslist is also an option, but I’d rather not risk my own safety. If you don’t have the patience to sell you purged items, you can also donateGiveBackBox.com can help you get rid of those unwanted boxes you have laying around your house from your online shopping, and the best part about it is that it’s FREE.

#3 – Meal prep – To me, meal prep means looking up new recipes on Pinterest (lol). We typically don’t lunch prep, since we’re all pretty okay with just eating PB&J’s with some snacks, like string cheese, seaweed snacks, Goldfishes, etc, etc. On occasion, we’ll eat left-overs, if we have any. We also don’t normally require actual meal prepping since we buy most of our main food staples at Costco; we keep things like frozen chicken breast, frozen various frozen veggies, and some canned foods, in stock all the time in our house. I’ll make a post about our Costco shopping trips later on…

#4 – Make baby food – I suppose you could categorize this under meal prepping too, but I’m still breastfeeding, so pumping pretty much makes up this category. We invested in a Magic Baby Bullet (About $60 from Target) when baby was about 4-months and, so far, have spent a total of $2 on frozen peas and carrots. The $2 has made about 12 little containers of baby food. I’d say this was a very good investment we’ve made thus far.

#5 – BLOG – LITERALLY… This keeps me from spending!! I suppose this could also wind up making me some money in the future, but that’s only if I actually keep up with it. I’ve attempted to create and maintain blogs in the past, but it seems that trying to make money from a blog is just not in the cards for me… I’ve also lost probably a couple $100 in trying to make blogging a thing for me. I think I just need to be real with myself and realize that I’m probably not going to stick with it… but if I do, might as well invest in that domain name!! Perhaps I’ll just wait until I actually make my 100th post before I invest in a domain name. Seems like a good reward for keep up, I guess.

#6 – Maintaining my Perfectly Posh business – Yep, I’m an independent consultant… Or something. Honestly, I’m more of an avid Perfectly Posh user that reaps the benefits of being a consultant. BUT, sometimes I do somehow manage to make some money from myself and working it as a consultant. If I pushed myself a little harder in making sales and reaching out to new potential customers, I could be making more “play money”. Again, this would probably make for a good post in the future… maybe that 100th post will come by a lot quicker than I thought!

#7 – Study – To make it a bit clearer of who I am and where I stand in society, I’m in the US Air Force. I’m a Staff Sergeant (SSgt, or E-5) with about 10 years of total military service… I put on SSgt just before my 4-year mark, and if I studied and played my cards right, I could’ve made the next rank at my 6- or 7-year mark… I just didn’t study. Promotion testing time for me is around February/March of next year, so I definitely have the time to study – despite having two younger kids at home to manage. Again, another great way for me to get more money LOL… ALSO, studying would also mean taking college classes. One of my goals in life is to become a medical primary caregiver, and the military has a program called the Inter-service Physician’s Assistance Program (IPAP). I just need to hurry up and take classes so I can finally submit a package…

# 8 – Exercise – I’m kind of laughing at myself as I type my reasoning… My husband bought me a rower for Christmas, since I like to row at the gym. So now, I really don’t have much of an excuse to not work-out. I could also walk the dogs and kids around the block to do something active in my life.

Those are all my great ideas to do at home to save money. I’m sure I can think of more later. What are some things your do at home to save money? I’d like to know!!