CMSAF Cody says a 91-base roadshow to explain the new EES/WAPS system is necessary so that experts can personally present airmen with program details and answer their questions. Cody says it’s about having face-to-face contact with as many airmen as possible before sharing formal guidance and new forms, and that it justifies delaying a transparent sharing of information with the entire force.
Roadshow briefs are interacting with a small fraction of the population of each base, and since airmen can’t take notes, make recordings, or discuss what they learn with teammates, the information being disseminated is not making its way beyond that small fraction.
Here’s an example from Misawa Air Base:
The two sessions being offered at Misawa will cater to 750 airmen. That’s around 20% of the base’s military population. Nonsensically, that 20% is restricted from sharing what they learn with the other 80%.
This is the pattern unfolding all over the service. It doesn’t make much sense from a change management perspective or even a basic communication perspective, which makes it look like more of an attempt to micromanage the flow of information than a genuine effort to educate the force.
It’s also wasteful. The price tag to send the roadshow team to Japan is in roughly the $15,000-$20,000 range, assuming commercial air travel. If dedicated military lift is being utilized, multiply that number by a factor of twenty.
Utilizing this method rather than the electronic communication tools the service is already paying for sends a contradictory message about the conservation of scarce dollars.
It also send a much more corrosive message to the Air Force’s leaders in the field: we don’t trust you to educate your own people, so we’re coming out there to do it for you. Or at least a small fraction of it. But don’t quote us on anything.
Education so important your tax dollars are funding it … but you’re not allowed to write it down. That’s no way to introduce a change this big and this important.