By Dave Chamberlin, USAF/Air National Guard CMSgt, Ret
In my current job, I get to talk to tons of military aircraft maintenance personnel from all branches. Some of them are recently separated, some are separating in the near future, others are planning a career, and the rest are retiring soon. In some ways, I function as a career mentor to them and our discussions often last up to an hour or more. These folks are very open with me, mainly I think because I talk their talk, walked in their shoes for 38 years, and now I’m retired. They also know that I’m out of the machine so they can be honest with me and it won’t impact their careers. . . .
. . . .So yesterday I was talking to an Air Force active duty Master Sergeant, and he was telling me about an LOR (Letter of Reprimand) that he was given. As the story goes, he was teaching a class and asked a question. One student answered and he replied, “That’s exactly right bud!” The next day he was called into the commander’s office and issued the LOR. Apparently, the male student was transitioning to female and was offended by being addressed as a male. (Yeah, I use “bud” all the time and use it only when talking to guys.) The really twisted thing about this event is that nobody knew this guy was switching sides, not even his roommate, which opens up a whole ‘nother discussion. . . .
. . . .And now Grandpa Simpson is going to shake his fists at the sky regarding all the inclusion events the Air Force holds. Drag Queen night on base, and all the different heritage appreciation months. And then the ongoing concern and focus about not offending anyone over the smallest thing and making sure every individual is valued to the Nth degree. Awards for everyone just for showing up and doing your job. . . .
. . . I talk to literally hundreds of military members every year? They are the ones telling me about all of this and even more. When I talk to the ones separating, they invariably mention that they joined to be in the military to live a military-style life and work on aircraft, but they are getting out due to the things I’ve already mentioned and toxic leadership.
Those who are planning on a career talk about “toughing it out.” And the ones close to retirement just say they can’t stand it anymore. Again, all due to the things I mentioned.
Folks, these are the warfighters who are leaving. So, what are we left with? The people who like the social experiment. The people who need hugs. The people who melt if they get called the wrong personal pronoun. Show ponies remain instead of warhorses because the show pony killed the warhorse for calling a guy “bud.”
And if we are left with nothing but the show ponies, what will happen if we have to fight a real war? . . . (read the whole article)