Our soaring optimism for change deflated yet again

Donna Boots, 49th Medical Group, receives the Junior Civilian of the Year award from Col. David Krumm, 49th Wing commander, during the Wing’s Annual Awards Ceremony in 2010.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eileen Payne and Airman 1st Class Joshua Turner/Released)
Donna Boots, 49th Medical Group, receives the Junior Civilian of the Year award from Col. David Krumm, 49th Wing commander, during the Wing’s Annual Awards Ceremony in 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eileen Payne and Airman 1st Class Joshua Turner/Released)


We were cynical in August when then new Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Dave Goldfein said he was serious about institutional reform. However, it appears it’s not Goldfein at the root of our cynicism, but those under his command who don’t share his vision or even comprehend his directives.

We told you in November about an Air Force major, who blatantly ‘pulled rank’ on the CSAF. Maj. Jon Harmon, United States Air Force. This Comm Squadron commander, clearly possessed of the knowledge of the previous order from the service’s most senior general officer, is issuing orders of his own … including one explicitly overriding his boss’s boss’s boss’s boss.

Both our Chief of Staff and even our Secretary of the Air Force were 100 percent crystal clear on their directives. In a “MEMORANDUM TO ALL AIRMEN” dated August 16, they directed, that to get back to our core mission, we must eliminate additional duties that take airmen away from their primary tasks. Period, point blank.

Related: CSAF Takes Another Leap Forward with Additional Duty Reductions

The memorandum outlined 61 additional duties identified in AFI-38-206 that created a “burden” on airmen and resources. The memorandum came with an accompanying fact sheet outlining these tasks, and instruction on whether the additional duty should be reassigned, reduced or eliminated all together.

Almost a full four months later, it appears the “Maj. Harmons” of the world are in full denial of what it means to follow the orders of those appointed above them.

Related: Random O-4 Pulls Rank on CSAF, Restores Eliminated Additional Duty

Here we have in her natural habit another brain trust from another comm squadron. Donna Boots, Chief of the Knowledge Management Center from the 49th Communications Squadron at Holloman AFB, NM.

donna-boots-email

Not only is she stating that two eliminated additional duties (FARMs and RCs) will remain, she tells of how Holloman is writing its own instruction where FARMs and RCs will continue to grow and prosper.

Way to go Holloman! Thank you for solidifying JQP’s cynicism. Kudos to you Ms. Boots! We are sure Maj. Harmon will be glad to know he’s not the only one with stones large enough to defy the CSAF.

Maybe Donna’s new title should be Chief of Knowledge Micromanagement. She’s clearly thinks she is more in tune with the Air Force’s mission and airmen’s needs than the CSAF.

Airmen morale is at an all-time low. We’ve endured years under failed leadership and policies, and just when we’re feeling the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t a train because of the CSAF’s commitment to “airmen,” you shovel one more load of coal into the steam engine that’s heading straight in our direction.

Here’s a small snippet from what we published in August:

A decade ago, the Air Force sensed the need to slim down, but it went about it the wrong way. Instead of getting modernization spending under control, cutting frills, and trimming waste, it embraced the tortured logic that operational excellence could be had with mediocre support … or more accurately, self-support. It’s taken a long time for officials to recognize that mistake. But they finally have.

Well here it is … JQP admits it was wrong. We believed in one-fleeting moment of misguided optimism that leadership recognized the error of its ways. We were wrong, the skepticism is well founded and four months later, it’s airmen who continue to pay the price.

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