Airminder's Virtual Folly
All About Air Force Recruiting - Awards and EPRs
(This is a personal website, not a government website.)

Recruiting Awards presented to me...
Top "A"-Flight Recruiter Top "A"-Flight Recruiter (First Quarter)
(Tied for Top Squadron NPS Recruiter)
Top "A"-Flight Supervisor (Acting)
(Did both jobs without benefit of any goal break)

For these efforts, I received a non-referral "2" EPR covering this same reporting period.

   During my entire career, spanning 20 years, this was the only EPR I ever received marked less than the highest possible rating.  Ironically, this same time period was the hardest I've ever worked (18 hour days and at least 6 days a week), driven to the point of collapse.

   My thoughts -- "I received trinkets and hacks of the sword in exchange for giving my all -- All of my "pauper's gold" to a kingdom that had but only an open pocket and wielded a well-worn sword.  It was only "pauper's gold" -- The best I could possibly give, but it is this gold, amassed in the kingdom's store from many other sources too, that comprises the kingdom's riches.  Why plunder the "pauper" that gives all his gold?  Why shout at him, "HAVE AT YE!"?  Would one truly expect a "plundered pauper" to sit idle while being hacked?  Many tales of yore speak of black knights...Could conditions and events such as these be similar to what motivated the black knights of yore?  Where did they come from?  What was their quest?  It's easy to tell...They were once "paupers", like you and me, seeking to regain what was wrongfully plundered from them.  Through the many trials and tribulations wrought from their own kingdom while battling the enemy at the same time, black knights learned well the skills of battle.  In battle, as in life, when a kingdom wounds and slays its own without purpose or cause, the future battles fought by that kingdom will be short, costly, and most likely lost, for these wounders and slayers, untempered for the fight at hand, must then stand alone to engage the oncoming forces.  The wounders and slayers must also then grapple with once loyal black knights along the way; Black knights, now battle-tested and tempered to high tensile and strength.  Dare ye not bet your horse, nor your armor, nor your holdings, nor your life when jousting with a black knight, for the black knight will fight the good fight, with both truth and honor to the very end, and has proven his mettle and resolve.  As in a joust, it is the prince and the kingdom that risks, for the black knight was already plundered by the prince and the kingdom -- The black knight knows well their miscreant ways.  As the kingdom and cowardly wounders and slayers have challenged, so it is on, 'HAVE AT YE!'"

   Unfortunately, Air Force Recruiting Service "wounders and slayers" are part of the cause and one indicator as to why our Air Force feels the very real pinch it feels today.  For had the "paupers" been treated fairly and justly, there would not be so many "black knights" now, and the Air Force would "sell itself".  In many ways, it seems to me that this institution that I've been proud of and thought was filled with truth, justice, pride, and most importantly, INTEGRITY has faded it seems, into allowing self-serving individuals to write and act on rules only as they see fit to solely serve their own selfish interests, the truth and the team be damned.  Folks, I'm here to tell you that the words INTEGRITY, SERVICE BEFORE SELF, and EXCELLENCE IN ALL WE DO were core values in the Air Force I grew up in long before we began having to say this mantra of words to convince ourselves of these important values.  Maybe I should "tuck it all away" like many others and "put this behind me" as some have suggested.  That would be the easiest course of action, and after all, a year from now it won't matter to me anyway...Or will it?  I'd rather have an Air Force team instead of an Air Force of individuals any day.  If you don't put your back into making it better and standing up against wrongs, you'll only have helped the "wounders and slayers" to continue their quest.  A person that puts their heart and soul into their work and tries righting wrongs and fixing the system is someone I know I can entrust with my country's defense, my freedom, and my Constitution -- I know they have a very strong commitment to a very worthy cause.  Thanks to all "black knights" that have gone before me, and hopefully I can help to make it better for "black knights" that come after me.  Wishful thinking is that there'll have to be no more "black knights" -- Not because they've been suppressed, but because they don't have a reason to become "black knights" -- Instead, thriving and contributing team members on one team.

C'Mon...Let's make our Air Force better!  It doesn't have to be like this!
Obviously, my views reflected here are my own, not official Air Force position or statements.
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© 1998 by Al Lamb. Information presented here does not constitute endorsement by any person, official, or organization. Request permission prior to reproducing any part of this document or any documents contained within.