By lex, on February 12th, 2009
I sat out the ’91 scrape at F-16 school in MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL. Watched the war begin at some watering hole on CNN. Sea/shore rotations, and that. Timing.
A couple of us flew up to Jacksonville from Key West in support of a training detachment. While we were there, a council of captains held a discussion for any junior officers still left back in CONUS with six carriers and their reinforced air wings deployed. They discussed enemy orders of battle air, land and naval. Logistics challenges of getting Red Sea carriers into the fight. How the campaign was proceeding. All very educational. Most of us were green with envy. Not so much because there was a fight. But because there was a fight we weren’t a part of.
One career-oriented soul had the temerity to ask what maybe many of us wondered about but wouldn’t have dared ask: Will we be able to compete for promotion with our peers who come back with Combat “V”‘s on their Air Medals, Silver Stars, Distinguished Flying Crosses? Guys with green ink in the log book? People who have seen the wolf?
A captain from BUPERS stood up to field the question: The Navy will always promote and assign based on the needs of the service and the performance of the individual. Combat deployments, awards and battle stars will not vault an average officer over a superior one. But if it comes down to a tie-breaker, sure – ours is an operational, fighting force. Experience counts.
It sounded fair. Those guys were getting shot at. We could live with it.
This, on the other hand, seems passing strange:**
Imagine leading perilous convoys across Iraq’s deadly streets for nearly a year and learning it won’t mean squat when it comes time to compete for the senior master sergeant promotion board.
Or how about providing vital close-air support in Afghanistan and discovering it won’t be included when a board decides whether to promote you to lieutenant colonel.
That’s the reality scores of Air Force officers and senior NCOs are facing now that the Air Force, in a move sure to cause confusion — if not outrage — will be deleting deployment history from duty qualification briefs for officer selection and pre-selection, and from senior NCO evaluation briefs. The new policy will apply to all active-duty members as well as Reserve and National Guard Airmen…
(The) Air Force contends it’s too difficult to measure a deployment overseas against Airmen who support the so-called Global War on Terror from a stateside installation.
** 08-31-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.