The comment that Ok made about rank being archaic is really silly and
if he reflected on it, he would see that. His eyes are blurred with the
passion of his rant. Rank is necessary.
I should rephrase then. Sometimes, rank shouldn't matter or be a factor. Here's a pissy little whine, but when enough of these types of things stack up, it gets annoying enough that I've seen good people get out over it.
EUCOM has decided that all milair flights into and out of Africa will be in Uniform. My group just went to Africa to stay aboard a ship, and because flights are iffy at best (C-130's tend to break down a lot) we had to take way more stuff than we needed for the 9 days we were supposed to be there. The problem arose in that due to country flight clearances, the plane had to fly from Naples to Rota, Spain first. Then we stayed the night in the BEQ (Bachelor Enlisted Quarters) followed by a flight on the same plane the next day to Senegal. (OPSEC says it's ok to tell you where I *was* just not where I am going The flight from Naples to Rota was in civilian attire.
At the Rota base, there is no shuttle system, and the BEQ is quite a walk from the air terminal. Instead of just being able to take a change of civvies in our backpacks and leave our seabags on the plane, we had to haul the whole lot to the BEQ so that the next morning we could wear our cammies to the flight. The same thing in reverse. We flew home in cammies and had to haul our seabags to the BEQ because there's no way to fit those bulky boots into a backpack. This is a minor inconvenience until you ask one question. Why do we have to fly in uniform? 3 guys from Sigonella, enlisted like myself, also were on the flight there and back. No one bothered to tell them they needed to be in uniform, so they didn't even HAVE cammies. They flew to and from in civvies and there was no problem from it in terms of wearing the uniform having any kind of affect on the flight or where we landed. Where we landed, vehicles from the ship met us and took us to the ship. So why the rule? It has no affect on anything...why was that rule ever made? All it does is cause inconvenience to people and has no value added to mission whatsoever. Anyone? Bueller?
Really, why don't we get rid of 'perks' and just have higher pay for all instead?
I would find that acceptable.
Those higher rankers are in the positions they are because they
have earned it. They have put in the hard work and built their way up.
The military doesn't work like the civillian world where you might
become CEO of a company just because your Daddy owned the business. All
military members begin on level playing ground, the first few
promotions are virtually guaranteed, after that the decisions they make
as individuals and the hard work they put in to the job influence their
ability to climb the rank ladder.
Ooh...ready for this part? All players do NOT begin on a level playing ground. The way an officer *earns* his officership is with a college degree. Guess what *I* have? A degree in Music Education...not just a degree in music, and not just a degree of some sort, but a degree IN MY FIELD. Guess what it got me? Zero. And it shows. I work for some people that never went to college. I often have to do their jobs for them. Hell, I work for some people that DID go to college and didn't learn anything. It's a sweet kind of irony that I, as an E6, am going to the Senior Musician Course in August with two of the Chief's I work with here. They've expressed that they're glad I'm going because I'm good at certain skills that they suck at. I have as yet to decide if I plan on helping them at all. They won't be my bosses in a training environment, and I have every right to say "Hey...you're a Chief. Don't you know how to do this?"
As for "earning" your way up, let me explain how it works in the Navy on the enlisted side. Every year we get an evaluation that reduces our contribution to a number which can be calculated. Lots of traits are judged and averaged and then people are awarded a score of EP, MP, P, and two others so low you almost never see them. Those stand for "Early Promote" which translates to 4.0, "Must Promote" - 3.8, "Promotable" - 3.6. We then take a test in our field and a score from 0-80 is given. The time you have been in is a factor, your personal awards are a factor, and your time in your rank is a factor. They crunch all these numbers together every promotion cycle, then some bean counters decide how many people can be promoted PER RATE (a rate is a job - MU-Musician, MM-Machinist Mate, ET-Electronics Technician, etc...) from a budget standpoint. Let's say arbitrarily that this year the number is 8 new Musician E6's. They take the top 8 scores.
The "earning your way up" part is only represented by one of those factors. The eval. And I should point out that commands can only award a percentage of the highest score - EP. I think for E5 to E6 promotion, we are allotted 1 EP for every 5 people evaluated in that cycle. Before anyone thinks I have "personal bitterness" on this part, I'm an EP every time. My evals glow in the dark. Not bragging - just pointing out I have no personal vendetta against the system. In a closed rate, that EP is critical to ever getting promoted due to competition and low promotion numbers. But "pick your rate, and pick your fate" applies. We knew going into it that it was tough to get ahead. The eval is a big problem, though. Some of the judged traits are entirely subjective, so people that brown nose often get the nod and wind up getting promoted into positions they don't have the skills for. In short, hard work and perseverence isn't enough, and not everyone starts level.
There's way more to comment on here...you guys wrote a lot while I slept, but this is getting long and I know it's tough to slog through a whole lot points without hitting the reply button. Then when you do, you can't remember all the things you wanted to comment on and all the quoting is tedious (and risky as Big Fat daddy pointed out with his lost post)
I nearly pissed myself at that one. Only someone without a clue would ever say that as a blanket truth.
Bingo. Emphasis on "blanket" truth. Some high rankers earn it, and some do not. More do not in my experience.