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BobG
#8
Feb3-10, 01:22 PM
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Interesting to see that "whitewashing" performance reports has become the norm - once again.

When I first joined the Air Force, enlisted personnel were rated on a 9 point scale - except you practically needed a minor criminal act to get an 8 and a major criminal act to get a 7. You'd probably get kicked out of the military if you did anything serious enough to warrant a 6.

About 20 years ago, they finally changed the rating system completely, using a 5 point scale where 5's actually meant something. Only a few top performers got 5's and a person barely skating by could get a 3 - even without doing something serious enough to require law enforcement personnel to get involved.

Now, slowly but surely, the system has drifted back to the point where no one wants to be able to analyze ratings by race, gender, etc to see who gets most of the top ratings and who gets most of the bottom ratings.

Finding 2.9 is a little disturbing:
DoD and Service guidance does not provide for maintaining and transferring all relevant information about contributing factors and behavioral indicators throughout Servicemembers' careers.
It's tough to convince personnel that revealing any stress related problems about themselves won't have an adverse affect on their careers. In fact, it's tough to get some personnel to reveal temporary physical problems if it will cost them a few days flight pay. Military personnel aren't any different than the average person - they're intensely suspicious of having authority figures pry into their private lives and using that info to screw with them.

To say they should be disciplined enough to accept that as one of the conditions they agreed to makes a nice rhetorical statement. The reality is that members will hide problems as long as possible instead of getting counselling and/or treatment. The fact that military members on flight status will hide ailments the member sees as too minor to give up his flight pay for, to the point they'd rather fork out money at civilian pharmacies for medication they could get for free on base, shows how well that idea works.

Military members will probably reveal personal problems to civilian religious leaders, might reveal personal problems to military chaplains, and will be likely to hide personal problems from healthcare providers and/or supervisors - especially if anything revealed becomes part of their permanent record.

It takes a visible commitment to protecting individual members' privacy in order to encourage military members to get help for combat related stress. At what point does the risk of a terrorist become great enough to compromise the effort to help troops returning from combat?