Sunday, January 19, 2014
TERA-RIF-ick Timing - Morale Patches Are Back!
It's a small step and a good decision. Nothing huge, but every good decision counts and should be appreciated. The rumor is that Air Force members can now express morale as they have in the past, by wearing colored squadron t-shirts and morale patches while in uniform.
The timing of the policy change is, of course, very interesting. It's a small bit of good news at a time when officers have been told they are going to get booted in record numbers, told they would get the information to plan their futures, only to be told at H-hour that they would not actually get that information until later. People are trying to divine their futures, still waiting on information, and there is widespread anxiety across the force to include among retirees who see the writing on the wall regarding their retirements being looted.
Folks are digesting that their retirement is now about $100,000 lighter than before. But only if they're under age 62. For older retirees, everything is groovy.
Likewise, people are now seeing that the "modest" cut to their promise of free healthcare for life back in the 1990s, is now on its way to being cut yet again. But just for "younger" retirees. For older retirees, everything is good to go!
So the smarter among us, being that we are military folks, should be recognizing this tactic. It's called divide and conquer. And those who are thinking about taking TERA might be well served to understand how divide and conquer works. I can see the legislation now...
The writing is on the wall.
It will be interesting when PSDM 13-130 actually gets released after its overhaul. I'm guessing some of the changes that will be released will result in morale not fixed by a patch. I'm expecting continued officers will need more than a colored t-shirt to keep their resiliency meter from pegging out full scale.
But perhaps I'm wrong. With this small policy change, leadership has made it clear they are listening to their people. Even the small gestures mean something. But like the rest of us, they have to salute smartly and execute the lawful wishes of those above them.
No morale patch is going to make what's coming any easier.