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Author Topic: PowerPoint Rant from the IJC  (Read 478 times)

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Offline Cyrano JohnsonTopic starter

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PowerPoint Rant from the IJC
« on: August 12, 2013, 02:23:31 PM »
Apparently this rant got its author fired. Well, on the upside, it was funny. Be interested to see what our military members make of it, though.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: PowerPoint Rant from the IJC
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 03:21:47 PM »
Wow.. talk about career suicide. Stick a fork in him.. he's done.

That being said, it's honest to say that there is a bit of bloat. I used to joke that you could tell when a new officer took over a program, it would undergo a 10 month revamp, rebalance or other flash word. I watched programs go from useful to hideously bloated with no direction just so some officer could put up 'dramatically rebuilt 'OJT' training programs' or similar flash points for their promotion board with little or no actual impact on the effectiveness of the damn program.

Offline Neysha

Re: PowerPoint Rant from the IJC
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 06:02:21 PM »
Usually the best way to counter something you disagree with is to do it better, instead of whine about it.

I doubt this Colonel is the only one who whines about bloat and powerpoint presentations. In fact I'm certain that he is not. But just whining about it, publicly or privately, usually won't effect change. But look at what a humble Army Captain was able to do in Iraq several years ago.

Instead of whining, he just followed the military maxim of KISS and made his own powerpoint which unlike all of the other ones wasn't completely useless and effected actual change in policy.

Enjoy. (pdf download)

Maybe the Colonel in question was a great Colonel, he wouldn't be the first military Colonel (John Boyd, Henry Hunt, Thomas Hammes, Ralph Peters, HR McMaster, David Hackworth etc)surrounded by scandal and controversy for their intriguing opinions.

In which case, it's a real loss.

On the other hand, maybe he was just a professional whiner.

In which case... good riddance.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 09:28:18 PM by Neysha »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: PowerPoint Rant from the IJC
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 01:25:51 AM »
You haven't been in the military have you Neysha?

There is an AMAZING amount of 'bloat' in reporting/activites like he's listing in that power point. A LOT. I worked in shops that were typically five to eight guys down on workers.. but I could have something like three chiefs in the work center and upwards of twelve in some of the maintenance control centers. TWELVE to do the work of SIX. Officers could be bad in some areas and just as dense. We're talking Branch Officers, Assistant Branch, Assistant Division Officers, Division Offiers. TYPICALLY though the bloat was a bit higher up the chain.

Once you make a certain rank, you went one of two ways. If you worked the fleet (for the Navy) you typically (as an officer) had an effective job. If you were say.. a LT. Commander ..and you get sent to a command staff position like in the Pentagon or where the Colonel was.. you know what you do? You serve COFFEE.. or do skut work. On one position you're responsible for MILLIONS of dollars in gear and dozens to hundreds of lives.. on the other.. you're a coffee bitch. You deliver bloated briefings. You work for men with stars on their shoulders who can't listen to a Ensign or Butterbar-whatever do when they can get a 12+ year officer do it.

Now, would you blame a Colonel for maybe popping a gasket wasting time doing a work someone JUST of college can do.

Offline Cyrano JohnsonTopic starter

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Re: PowerPoint Rant from the IJC
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 04:29:11 AM »
Yeah, Neysha, I remember that Powerpoint presentation very well. (It was a shame the "Anbar Awakening" that story was a part of was surprise-surprise not what it was touted to be, but when a war starts without any strategic plan I suppose it's pretty much inevitable that it will deteriorate into working out which pigs to dress in which shade of lipstick.)

That story is a strong reminder of the tragic wider context: an example of a decent, bright, talented guy genuinely doing his best to try to figure out the totally intractable situation he's been sent into. And then getting vaporized by an IED. It's really one of those emblematic stories that comes to mind when anyone asks me why I opposed the Iraq War.

Quote from: Callie del Noire
You serve COFFEE.. or do skut work. On one position you're responsible for MILLIONS of dollars in gear and dozens to hundreds of lives.. on the other.. you're a coffee bitch. You deliver bloated briefings. You work for men with stars on their shoulders who can't listen to a Ensign or Butterbar-whatever do when they can get a 12+ year officer do it.

Now, would you blame a Colonel for maybe popping a gasket wasting time doing a work someone JUST of college can do.

That does rather put it in perspective...

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: PowerPoint Rant from the IJC
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 11:49:00 AM »
Yeah, Neysha, I remember that Powerpoint presentation very well. (It was a shame the "Anbar Awakening" that story was a part of was surprise-surprise not what it was touted to be, but when a war starts without any strategic plan I suppose it's pretty much inevitable that it will deteriorate into working out which pigs to dress in which shade of lipstick.)

That story is a strong reminder of the tragic wider context: an example of a decent, bright, talented guy genuinely doing his best to try to figure out the totally intractable situation he's been sent into. And then getting vaporized by an IED. It's really one of those emblematic stories that comes to mind when anyone asks me why I opposed the Iraq War.

That does rather put it in perspective...

Let me put it like this.. more specifically.

My .. fourth CO was a Commander with something like 18+ years experience. He was a subject expert on finance (having three times presented informaiton to joint hearings on the bane of payday loan/predatory loan practices), and the 'go-to' guy for the state of the Chinese military doctrine towards the US Fleet. (IE.. how we will fight with them over the next 20 to 30 years and where they are building/focusing).

He was responsible for 60+ aircraft (each worth upwards of 20+ million dollars, more depending on the hardware onboard), 500+ full time staff members and something like 1200 students/year. Had the HIGHEST training and completion rate in the fleet air force EVER (when you're the training command and you have more sorties completed than deployed squadrons..that says something. One quarter we had 99+% sortie completion) The longest record for mishap free status (DECADES) and the highest retention in the fleet commands for something like five quarters running.

He didn't make flag rank (ie Captain) because he didn't want to go back to Washington and serve coffee as a CAPTAIN. He told us if he'd been assigned to the State Department again, (yeah..he'd done that TWICE, with a focus on China as his area of focus) he'd have gone. He wasn't assigned to the planning groups, or the State Department.. he was going to the Pentagon 'General Staff' (forgot what the actual term was) which meant (his words) 'Coffee bitch/suck up/hatchetman' for a 3 star Admiral/General for the next 3 years.

The thing is.. skills like his.. they aren't something you can put aside for 3 years while you do the 'political' job. You have to keep doing them (again his words).

So he got out.. and as a divisional manager for a big bank.. he's still trying to kill those small predatory loan groups and take care of 'HIS' people. Nice guy. One of the best COs I ever worked for.

Offline Neysha

Re: PowerPoint Rant from the IJC
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 07:33:48 PM »
You haven't been in the military have you Neysha?

There is an AMAZING amount of 'bloat' in reporting/activites like he's listing in that power point. A LOT. I worked in shops that were typically five to eight guys down on workers.. but I could have something like three chiefs in the work center and upwards of twelve in some of the maintenance control centers. TWELVE to do the work of SIX. Officers could be bad in some areas and just as dense. We're talking Branch Officers, Assistant Branch, Assistant Division Officers, Division Offiers. TYPICALLY though the bloat was a bit higher up the chain.

Once you make a certain rank, you went one of two ways. If you worked the fleet (for the Navy) you typically (as an officer) had an effective job. If you were say.. a LT. Commander ..and you get sent to a command staff position like in the Pentagon or where the Colonel was.. you know what you do? You serve COFFEE.. or do skut work. On one position you're responsible for MILLIONS of dollars in gear and dozens to hundreds of lives.. on the other.. you're a coffee bitch. You deliver bloated briefings. You work for men with stars on their shoulders who can't listen to a Ensign or Butterbar-whatever do when they can get a 12+ year officer do it.

Now, would you blame a Colonel for maybe popping a gasket wasting time doing a work someone JUST of college can do.

I don't actually think we're in disagreement but just because I'm not in the military, I don't think invalidates my opinion. Bloat is in big everything. Big business, Big corporations, Big Militaries, Big NGO's, Big everything and it often trickles all the way down as well. I find your story to be very sobering and can easily see it as being a waste and underutilization of resources. But while I'm glad you shared it and emphasized and expanded on the problem in your post that the initial rant covered, I still think that it's a fair point to make that some people, even in the military, are professional complainers, and others are professional problem solvers. I have no idea about this initial ranter but was merely bringing out the possibility because I have no idea what kind of man or officer he is. Clearly his complaints are valid, but I'm sure a lot of people can sympathize with the notion of the coworker who is constantly griping about things while doing their job. (competently or not) It's probably more valid and pronounced in the military of course.

But basically, since I don't want to repeat myself, I really don't think that we're at difference here. If my initial post was offensive in some way, it wasn't my intention.

Offline Oniya

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Re: PowerPoint Rant from the IJC
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 08:45:11 PM »
And just as a side note, having a high rank doesn't guarantee you can make effective Powerpoint presentations.  I distinctly recall showing a Major how to draw a box, several times.  I can see needing a person of X rank to provide input for certain briefings, but turn the 'making of slides' over to someone who has half a clue.  (Your IT department will thank you profusely.)