"...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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santa Delivers Vague RIF Presents for the Holidays

General Welsh, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF), said the other day of the force shaping bomb shell that was released on airmen, one day prior to learning their retirement benefits were on the way to being chopped, and several days prior to the holidays that, "...our belief is we need to put the guidance out as early as possible so they have a chance to think through the impact on them or the potential impact on them if they're eligible for any of these particular force-shaping measures."

And yet as I look around the internet and talk to folks, I see and hear more confusion than anything.  Who is affected exactly?  I hope that while NORAD is tracking Santa, it can relay him a message and ask him to provide a little detail, rather than a generic feeling of everybody is being fired, for airmen to share with their loved ones. 
But I realize Santa is busy, so I just have three questions on my Christmas list that I would like to get answered before next Halloween.  I mean, since the details were strangely left out of the officer program and yet supplied to the much larger enlisted force (at least more details).  Somebody I know tried emailing Santa's workshop at AFPC using the digital My-Pers-NorthPole website, but the answer they got was "Santa will tell you based on if you're naughty or nice at a time and place of his choosing, and based on his view of naughty and nice."  The MyPers folks didn't actually say that, but they did answer the question with something along the lines of, "that information will be released in the future."

Nice.  Very comforting.

So since Santa is busy figuring out how he will steal presents he promised to good little boys and girls who fulfilled their ends of mutually agreed upon contracts by being good all (twenty+) year[s], I'll just post my questions here.  I am expecting coal in the stocking, as most of us have come to expect from big blue Santa.  Fortunately for me personally, I haven't believed in Santa since the second grade.  But I could be wrong, so my Christmas list is for three simple answers in a timely fashion.

Dear Santa,

1.  Since the announcement stated that enlisted who were RIF'd with more than 15 years will automatically be offered Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA), and since that same detail was for some reason not provided for officers RIF'd with more than 15 years in...  Well....  Will it be offered for officers, too?

2.  Since the announcement stated that enlisted force shaping boards would not consider those who would have eighteen years of service by the mandatory separation date since they would be in "sanctuary," and since the same details were not offered for officers who would be separated with eighteen plus years...  Well...  Will officers also be considered to be in sanctuary if the separation date puts them at eighteen years and therefore also spared the RIF?

3.  Are pilots going to be denied TERA yet again in January (because they're hacking the mish in not-overmanned-career fields with less than stellar manning unlike those officers being offered TERA), only to months later find that 550 jets were cut from the inventory afterward, making them magically (and without any previous knowledge, of course) eligible for the RIF?  Or are pilots so "bored" that they will be considered overmanned and allowed the same opportunity as other officers in January?

Thanks in advance for any questions you can answer, Santa.  I sure did appreciate the resiliency training the other day, and the discussion of how suicide in the military has increased dramatically over the years.  I'm sure this news right before the holidays, with limited details, will strike just the right tone!

Happy Holidays, and may the Reduction in Force bless us all - every one,


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