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168 Days: "I See A Trend..."

By Ken Snyder

From the Reserve Officer's Association's Law Review site (original article here):
"Freedom is not free. The greatest costs are borne by those who serve in the nation's armed forces, especially those in the reserve components who leave higher-paying jobs when called up. A small fraction of our country's population bears the lion's share of the cost of freedom. The entire U.S. military establishment, including the National Guard and reserve, amounts to less than three-quarters of 1 percent of the nation's population. It is those servicemembers who have stood between U.S. citizens and a repetition of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11."

Less than three-quarters of one percent. Less than one out of 133. I could have been the ONLY Guardsman or Reservist working for the company that "sent me home" after 168 days of a six-month probationary period; conveniently enough this was also LESS THAN TWO WEEKS after I was off for two weeks of Air National Guard duty. The only explanation the supervisor gave me in my hearing was "I see a trend, and I don't like what I see" -- only afterwards was I to find out that there were rather suspicious entries made in my personnel file.

Mr. "I see a trend" has a profile that says he's graduated from leadership classes, has college degrees, does charity work, you'd think he pretty much walks on water. To me he is someone who has decided integrity can be sacrificed. I know for a FACT that if I were to call an Airman (or a Marine, from my first military tour of duty) on the carpet and reprimand him with only an explanation of "I see a trend, and I don't like what I see" I would be the next one reprimanded for displaying such a poor leadership example. You see, in 1983 I graduated from Marine Corps Non-Commissioned Officer's Leadership School, and in 2005 graduated from Air Force Airman Leadership School. We were trained to uphold INTEGRITY above all else: without INTEGRITY, you have nothing. I'd stack that leadership training up against any so-called "leadership" training this supervisor has ever been through.

But Mr. "I see a trend" still has a job. While Staff Sergeant "less than three-quarters of one percent" is "sent home."


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The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.