Friday, December 15, 2006

Some People's Kids...

This just in…an e-mail making the rounds in your Air Force today, courtesy of SN1. Names and other identifying data have been purged to protect both the innocent and the guilty. You can get the gist of what the major is saying simply by following along…

From: Maj XXXXX 333 FS/DOV
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 6:09 PM
Subject: RE: Cadet request for F-15 ride

You've got some brass balls on you, cadet fourth class XXXXX ( that your real name, lose that 'IV' crap, it just sounds stupid). Let's break down your message and maybe we can educate you on a thing or two.

"I'm a cadet at the Air Force Academy."

This message should be over right here. Period dot. Cadets don't troll for rides, they EARN them through the proper channels just like everybody else. We've got a long list of maintainers who have earned awards through this wing to get incentive rides. These guys bust their asses in the freezing cold and blistering heat and only the lucky few get the privilege of having a ride. Name me three things you think you've done to 'earn' a Strike Eagle ride. Seriously. And by the way, I've read about all the 'hard work' here - And I quote "The learning curve was very steep this past year as I learned about military culture and doctrine in a pretty stressful environment." Brother, you have no idea what a stressful environment is.

"trying to arrange a flight with the 333rd Fighter Wing"

Sweet mother of pearl, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. We are the 333rd Fighter Squadron, and we are a division of the 4th Fighter Wing. If you want to snivel a ride from us, you ought to at least get your facts straight. This is the foreshadowing of your ignorance, let's continue....

"I have my Secret Clearance"

Your secret clearance doesn't mean f*** all to us. You think we're going to take you up on a tactical sortie? You think we're going to let you sit in on classified briefings? You think we're going to hang out and talk tactics with you? YGBFSM.

"and Physiological Training Card"

Your physiological training card doesn't mean f*** all to us. Remember all those hard working maintainers I mentioned earlier? Not one of them has a physiological training card - don't try to impress us with that crap.

"and can coordinate any AOC approval"

Last time I checked, the AOC didn't run the flying schedule of the 4th FW or coordination of our incentive flights. Apparently you're not familiar with chain of command and proper channels. Let me tell you what this does NOT consist of; it does NOT consist of going VFR direct to the 333rd Fighter Squadron scheduling shop and bothering our hard working schedulers. This consists of you talking to your commander, your commander talking to our commander, somebody in between giving the approval, and then in the middle of your pipe dream you will be denied your flight.

"My presence does not impose any limitations on the mission; I'm just along for the ride."

You couldn't be more wrong. What exactly is it you think we do here? Do you know anything about the F-15E? Do you know anything about Seymour Johnson? Do you know anything about the 333rd? Since it would seem the answer to all of the above is a blatant 'No', I'll clue you in. In the F-15E, while we do have two seats, the second seat is not an empty seat that only gets occupied when goobs like yourself call up looking for a ride. It's a seat for qualified aircrew - we call them Weapon System Officers. He is an essential part of our mission and we don't give him the boot for guys who are looking to bum a ride. Also, the 333rd is a Formal Training Unit. That means that we train young pilots and WSOs, so to give you a ride, we would either have to boot a student WSO in aforementioned formal course, or an instructor WSO trying to teach said student WSO. Get the picture?

"Any further guidance or authorization you can provide on this matter is much appreciated."

...and I'm spent - Hopefully this will serve as all the guidance you need. Gents, if there is something I have left out of this mentoring session with young cadet third class citizen XXXXX the IV, please feel free to chime in.

Chief of Stan/Eval, 333rd FS

Like I said...some people’s kids…even those attending our service academies.

Update 12/19/2006: In response to all the googlers: "YGBFSM" means You Gotta Be Frickin' Sh**ing Me. Now you know.


  1. Hahaha...this reminds me of the stupid fourth class out at the Academy that wrote a letter direct to General Jumper (CoS at the time) and SecAF Roche about their choice for Commandant out at the Academy.

    They both chose to reply and..."educate"...the cadet about the error of his ways and why exactly we have a chain of command in the USAF.

    I'm pretty sure both letters are over at chairforce, if you can find them.

  2. I am in tears!!! This is one that I have to pass alone to others. Now that cadet can take what he just learned and turn it into something positive, which will probably make him a pretty decent "O" or he can choose to let his feelings get hurt and waste a perfectly good education. I've seen them both when it comes to the "Ring Knockers". Thanks Buck for the Friday humor!!!

  3. Too bad the good Major didn't have the time to stop by, and give his "regrets" personally, to this nice Cadet. And the Cadet's student chain of command! Imagine the puddles of sweat developing on the floor, under the chins of these fine future leaders!

    Flame on you, is flame off me!

  4. Mike said: I'm pretty sure both letters are over at chairforce, if you can find them. Ah..there's the rub...finding them!

    Dale: I'm sure you appreciate this tale more than I, who took the Ol' Man's advice and "stayed away from airplanes" for my whole career. OTOH, I missed out in one respect...SN1 has earned not one but TWO checkrides in his career, one in an F-111 and the other in the two-seat variant of the F-16. I'm oh-so-envious, coz the only aircraft I ever rode in were C-141s, C-130s, one chopper and one ride in a C-47. Yep...a C-47, in 1964.

    And re: Ring Knockers. I knew very few during my career (only two come to mind) and they were both arrogant idiots, to be very kind.

    DC: Agreed on the "...the good Major didn't have the time to stop by, and give his "regrets" personally" bit!! LOL!

  5. To be fair, I work with many "zoo" grads and most are really good guys and girls. They are very quick to kill their own, as they are very aware of the stigma attached to their commissioning source. I too have met some real "winners" from USAFA, but we've got a few of those prior enlisted idiots amongst us as well (although the ratio seems to be much higher in the USAFA group).
    Dale mentions the cadet turning this into a positive of our group, herself an academy grad, thought the Major was being a little hard on him. I'm with Dale. A well-timed lesson learned is worth more than the public humiliation suffered. Another friend of mine truly summed this whole experience up with something like this:

    "Would I agree that this could have been dealt with in private, and a bit more gently? Yes. But if that means denying me the pleasure of reading about it in my inbox this morning, would I have wanted the Major to keep this between them? NO!"

  6. As a former Airman First Class and non college degree holder I have an interesting observation of the Majors comments. He obviously never could have earned one day at the Air Force Academy as his writing skills, or lack there of, so obviously indicate. He is a prime example of everything enlisted people do not look up to, nor do we consider someone of his nature a "leader." Yes, he showed that cadet didn't he. He impressed so much wisdom and guidance that now the entire chain of command in the Air Force is reading about it. His comments are just what our military needs. More "screaming idiots," I mean, "screaming eagles."

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  8. Wow...

    Color me surprised! I couldn't have ever thought this would blow up the way it did.

    Hmmm...makes me think I need to start reading what I write before hitting the send/publish button.

    All that said, I won't be pushed into least not to the degree where I'm scared to write to my own father.

    I will however read my writings with an eye for accuracy.

    For example:

    "...They are very quick to kill their own, as they are very aware of the stigma attached to their commissioning source..."

    What I should've have said was they are very aware of some of the stigmas attached to their commissioning source...

    but I didn't. USAFA grads are also known for being very effective officers, taken as a whole.

    This isn't so much an effort at damage control as it is a personal realization that sometimes I can write/type faster than I can think.

    I need to work on that!


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  10. I've deleted Cadet Z's comment to this post and reposted it, edited to remove names and e-mail addresses, along with further comment as a separate entry on the blog's main page. Googlers coming around and just hitting this post might want to check out the amplification before going on your way.

  11. Getting chewed out comes with the territory, if you are asking for it. And, one should be getting chewed out if you are constantly hounding someone without respect for chain of command. Getting chewed out for doing your job? That is not right.

    Even though I would have LOVED a check ride, was I going to pound on someone to get one? I mean, the SR-71 is a 2-seater, too! :)

    I got chewed out on the flight deck when down range - for someone else's mistake. And, the Nav wrote up in the 781s all kinds of crap - 3 boxes worth! When I got in the van heading back to the shop, threw my tool box on the floor cursing up a storm about some nut-case Lt yelling at me on the flight deck for something I didn't do ... and not realizing that our commanding officer was up front in the step-well of our panel van???

    Let's just say, there was hell to pay for that Lt. Our commanding officer made the driver stop the van, and he went running up the tarmac to the tail number I just left ...

    (heard from the crew chief that it was, enlightening, for all)

    So, if the cadet opened the door via e-mail, hmmm, guess it's just, right back at 'im with a response ... :)

    I feel for the sched ops folks. It can get annoying ...

  12. "...but we've got a few of those prior enlisted idiots amongst us as well..."

    I sure hope, AFCAPTBUCK, that you didn't mean to imply that enlisted folk, or those prior enlisted going for commissions, as I currently am as I finish my BS in EE after 10 years out of uniform, are idiots.

    While having a commission in the Air Force does depend on having a measured level of education, it doesn't guarantee a measurable level of common sense or leadership ability above those less educated.

    But to be fair, maybe I am taking your comment out of context.

  13. pex said: But to be fair, maybe I am taking your comment out of context.

    Ummm, yeah, pex, it's a wee bit more than possible you took him out of context...given his grandfather was prior enlisted before he got commissioned, his Ol' Man is a retired USAF MSgt and his brother was a USN PO2 before he got commissioned. And the fact that afcaptbuck, hisownself, was a USAF SSgt once upon a time.


  14. Steve said: Let's just say, there was hell to pay for that Lt. Our commanding officer made the driver stop the van, and he went running up the tarmac to the tail number I just left ...

    (heard from the crew chief that it was, enlightening, for all)

    LOL! Great story, Steve...and the moral is "don't abuse the troops!" (unless they ask for it...) :-)


Just be polite... that's all I ask.