Air Force

January 24, 2014

People First – January 24, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. 

CMSAF talks about force management, EPRs

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody recently addressed upcoming changes to enlisted performance reports and effects of force management during his second worldwide CHIEFchat at Defense Media Activity.

CHIEFchat is a recurring initiative, designed to give Airmen around the world a direct connection to the chief master sergeant of the Air Force. The chief received questions via video message, social media outlets and from members of a studio audience.

An Airman, via a video message, asked how the upcoming changes to the enlisted performance reports will affect Airmen in the future.

As you look at it today, with the current enlisted evaluation system we wouldn’t have to get too deep into a discussion before we understand how inflated the system is, Cody said.

“That’s why General Welsh directed the senior enlisted leadership of our Air Force to look at this and make recommendations to transform the enlisted evaluation into something that, first and foremost, values performance,” Cody said.

According to the chief, rating Airmen as threes, fours and fives will be a thing of the past.

 

Distance proves no barrier for concerned wingman

Previous experience working for a crisis prevention and intervention hotline helped an Airman from the 352nd Special Operations Support Squadron save another Airman’s life.

Back in June 2013, Airman 1st Class Julia Cap, a geospatial imagery analyst, had just arrived at RAF Mildenhall, England. She had just finished in-processing the ex-boyfriend of one of her friends from technical school, contacted her.

“He reached out to me, because his girlfriend, who was my friend, broke up with him,” Cap said.

Ray was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio. His former girlfriend had recently been assigned to Japan. As a result, they had broken up. During that initial contact, Cap realized that he was at an emotional low point. She knew this was a chance for her to step up and step in.

“During my (crisis prevention and suicide awareness) training, there were three key words that we would pick up on, helpless, hopeless and worthless, and (he) used all of them,” Cap said. “He was saying things like, ‘I don’t know what to do; she’s all that I have. I have nothing left.’ In our training, when someone gives you some sort of cue, you ask right away, ‘Do you feel like hurting yourself?’ or, ‘Are you thinking about suicide?’

 

It takes a village: Airman example of resilience

By the age of 3, he found himself in and out of group housing and foster homes in New York City. His father had abandoned him before birth and his mother was addicted to drugs.

Staff Sgt. Lamar Valentina, a 31st Logistics Readiness Squadron equipment accountability element supervisor, didn’t have what most people refer to as a customarily pleasant childhood, but he hasn’t let that hold him back from achieving his goals.

Taking a look at Valentina, you see a man with poise and self-esteem, a genuine smile and kindness for everyone he meets. Those who know him describe him as driven but entertaining and funny. You could never tell his upbringing was filled with instability.

The young staff sergeant furrows his brow, sighs and reflects upon the beginning of his roller coaster life. He moved in and out of four foster homes until age 9, which caused him to have thoughts of inadequacy and resentment, he said.

 

34 ICBM launch officers implicated in cheating

Thirty-four intercontinental ballistic missile launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., have been implicated in cheating on the ICBM launch officer proficiency test, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Jan. 15.

The revelations emerged during an investigation into alleged illegal drug possession, James said. The officers range in rank from second lieutenants to captains, and the alleged cheating occurred in the August and September 2013 timeframe.

James and Gen. Mark Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff, were clearly disturbed by the allegation as they briefed Pentagon reporters on the matter, but said they are confident the nuclear mission itself was not compromised by the incident.

“This was a failure of some of our Airmen,” James said. “It was not a failure of the nuclear mission.”




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