Monday, March 5, 2012

Take all your gold, then you go

  A lot of folks are confused why I left the Air Force after 15 years, not sticking-out for the 20 and getting my pension.  Well, it's not all about the $200 a week stipend and substandard, military health-care (that's a doosey, let me tell you, I mean, Motrin can only go so far, aka as the joke in the AF is, Vitamin M).  A good part of it is keeping one's soul in-tact.  Too often I see Master Sergeants surrendering to the game, drinking the "Blue Kool-Aid" as it were.  Accepting all that is Air Force, not arguing any point, not sticking-up for the troops that whine, putting a deaf-ear to their plights, such as, "The fitness test is unfair, my inseam is 28 inches and I have to run as fast as someone with an inseam of 38 inches!  Their footstride is twice mine!" or "I've worked 28 days straight with 12-hour shifts with no lunch breaks for 3 years now."  or  "The military doc flight-surgeon gave me Motrin for my broken foot but denies the foot is broken.  I know it's broken because I paid for an X-Ray the military won't pay for at a civilian doctor!"  These are all true statements that have occurred.
  I see these Master Sergeants realizing that they have only 3 or 4 years left and that they better not rock-the-boat.  The Military Pension is not guaranteed, you have to apply for it, and can be denied if they want to keep you in longer.  Not the "Stop Loss" program, just cruelty.  I've seen it several times, and it's ugly.  So, these MSgts become ineffectual.  They don't want any problems, they just want to get out and go away.  Deep inside, they realize it's too much for them and that it's a mess, but they surrender to it.  In a way, these folks give up their soul.  It's lost, like at The Crossroads of Willie Brown.  Colonels encourage it, as the MSgts become their mirrored, smaller "mini-me" pawn, pushing bullshit arbitrary policy randomly created by the Colonel who "enhances" the already asinine policies to ensure a General-slot for themselves by making the rules even harder.  Making standards even more ridiculous to adhere to.  This transformation of de-evelution happens to Captains making Major as well.  They take things too seriously and surrender a part of themselves.
  So the MSgt just sighs, claims he isn't selling-out.  Thinks he's doing a good job when in fact he's empty.  A hollow man like a priest who doesn't understand the trappings of real life.  Just shuffling along like a ghoul, eyes empty, a small spark inside, dying ember.  It's over.  You've surrendered to "The Game" and when they get out they think they can get that all back.  Nope.  It's gone.  You've lost.
  I was told I had to play "The Game".  Not to rock-the-boat.  Just do what I'm told so I can make SMSgt (Senior Master Sergent).  Bull.  I've seen these suck-ups and they disgust me.  I explained to my Colonel at the time that I will rock-the-boat, defy policy and inspire a defence for my troops, batting for them 100% when needed.  This did not go over well, and created quite a ruckus.  I politely resigned.  They can keep it.
  Now I work for them at twice my original pay as a contractor for merely advise.  I like that I can tell the Colonels where they can put it, though I don't, because I don't need to.  I'm treated well.

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