"...do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."

"For the good of the Air Force, for the good of the armed services and for the good of our country, I urge you to reject convention and careerism..."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Maxwell AFB, April 21, 2008

"You will need to challenge conventional wisdom and call things like you see them to subordinates and superiors alike."
- Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, United States Air Force Academy, March 4, 2011

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Trickle Approved for TERA

According to Stars & Stripes, the recent and very limited Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) offer led to more than 350 airmen retiring early.  They must be retired one month from today.

According to the article, the 311 enlisted and 47 officers who were approved for the program, broke down as such:
The military rank of the majority of applicants approved — 201 — were technical sergeants, according to Dickerson. There were also 110 master sergeants, 31 majors, eight captains and eight lieutenant colonels.

Seventy-nine of the approved applicants had 15 years’ active-duty service; 66 had served 16 years, 81 were at 17 years, 95 completed 18 years, and 37 had 19 years in the books.
Those are some pretty interesting statistics, particularly the number of folks with 18 and 19 years who took the retirement penalty to retire just a little early.

The article also states that the Air Force expects to announce involuntary separation programs soon.  As a person who applied for the TERA program and was told I was not eligible, I'm particularly interested to see what happens next.

I predict those who were not eligible for this voluntary separation program, will find themselves more than eligible for coming involuntary separation programs in FY 2014.

Interesting times we live in.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Power of Water

“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” - Ovid

Water is really under appreciated.  Not simply because all life requires water, but because water is one of the most powerful symbols to ever exist and yet it rarely gets any credit.  Perhaps that's actually part of its power.

Water can easily navigate around obstacles, over, under, around or through them.  Little to nothing is impervious to water.

If water wants in, it will get in, despite your best attempts to keep it out.  It will change forms from gas to ice and play the slow game if it must, but you can count on it showing up time after time.  It will be patient and it will slowly carve large unmovable rocks, and cut them down to size if that's what it desires.  Just as it did in that big canyon in Arizona.  Just as it has done throughout the world taking on the form of a glacier.

As Ovid said, "Guttaa cavat Lapidem" - dripping water carves a stone.  Water is very persistent.

A puddle of water, splish splash.  A hail storm.  An iceberg.  A cloud.  Water is a shape shifter.  Add a few basic elements to it, and it will change color and take on new properties.  Water is the ultimate chameleon.

But most importantly, water cleanses.  It washes away stains.

One way or another.

There is a lot we can learn from water.