Reasons to Retire



Burn-Out, a common problem.

          Burn-Out, a common problem.



             The following thoughts were contributed by a CW4, now passed on, who was having trouble deciding whether or not to retire...



          I kind of like seeing my wife and kids on a regular basis.

          Korea - Another opportunity to spend a year away from your family in a land nobody cares about. But hey, it's a chance to experience - first hand - one hell of an environmental disaster.

          Kuwait - Been there, done that! Hate the sand, food sucks, people dress funny and don't like us.

          Kosovo - Another "tar baby" we don't need to hold on to, but can't get away from.

          Albania - Another swirling sucking cesspool of despair.

          Bosnia - All troops will be home by December '96 (For those who don't know it - It's 2000 now!).

          My pay is screwed up for the third time in four months.

          I would really rather spend time with MY family than watch Bosnians, Albanians, Koreans, etc., spend time with theirs.

          Staff PT. Why can't I go do PT on my own and enjoy a little peace and quiet at the beginning of the day.

          People who think I want to raise my PT score.

          People who want me to raise my PT score.

          PT standards were raised for the over 40 age group.

          PT standards were lowered for the 24 years and younger age group.

          Three guys get taken prisoner with out firing a shot (after driving their vehicle across enemy lines because they were lost), get released 32 days later, get home before I do, and get six medals for it - all presented at the White House. Two of which carry retirement bonuses.

          SGMs - Too busy worrying about the status of the sleeves on my flight suit.

          SGMs that think they out rank Warrant Officers and the RLOs that let them continually get away with it.

          WO1s - They ain't raised right. They rarely accept responsibility and generally don't seek it either. WOCs aren't challenged for the bar they're given now, and it shows.

          Paper work. Too much of it and not enough flying.

          Power Point presentations.

          Command and Staff call and other painful meetings I am forced to attend and in which I have very little impact. If we would all communicate better we wouldn't need half these ridiculous meetings.

          Two meetings held a week before Command and Staff call to make sure we get it right the first time.

          Not enough flying for me (Yep I know I already said that).

          Lack of quality training time for the younger aviators. Your only hope of getting flight time is to get deployed and hope you don't get shot down or crash. Lousy option.

          Everything on this mission is classified secret - says so right here in the General's interview reported in the "Times".

          Not enough ammo to stay good at our business. Which happens to be death and destruction on order.

          Peace Keeping Operations" That reminds me...

          Rules of Engagement - I can't shoot that bastard until he shoots me - even though I know he IS going to shoot me.

          Somalia, what the hell happened there anyway? And why is the public too damned dumb to ask questions about it?

          The United States Army Safety Center.

          The Warrant Officer Career College.

          Having to attend DA mandatory career progression schools that don't have a frigin thing to do with my career.

          They'll force me to go to mandatory DA schools and spend $7,500 in per diem doing so, but won't pay for a $30 hotel room when I get stuck some place overnight due to bad weather.

          DES & CASSD.

          The ARMS team (They're here to help, they really are...).

          Fellow aviators that actually believe that a good attack pilot doesn't really need to understand aerodynamics, the anatomy of the eye and other dribble.

          Me and 30 of my buddies get passed over for W4. 15 days later, DA issues a call to active duty for 31 retired W4's (all of whom are overweight, haven't flown in years, and have no uniforms).

          Career progression for a Warrant Officer (Flight School Distinguished Grad): Korea, Campbell, Korea, Bragg, Saudi, Korea, Bragg, Korea, Divorce, Korea, Bragg, 2nd time pass over (keeps him out of Korea), hired by contractor as test pilot - making 3 times what a Warrant made - and never has to move again. Makes the mortgage payments for ex-wife and pays child support to 3 kids he's never seen (all who now live right across the street). He now lives in burnt out trailor parked at the curb.

          They would wake me up at 0330 to ask what are the weather minimums but not at 0440 to tell me we had a Class A mishap.

          Generally a lack of confidence in Officer leadership. Patton was the last good one.

          If women can do anything men can...lets start with the same PT test.

          SGMs - Stop worrying about what color the patch is on my flight suit. Believe it or not that patch actually does help moral and esprit de corp.

          This tent is small....why did a guy just walk in and ask if Marv is here?

          When was the last time the fat SGM , who is overly concerned about WOs, attended a Guard Mount?

          Why are we "facilitating" a bunch of freakin' tree-worshipers on a military reservation?

          So I finish my 4+ mile run and am cooling down and some fat-assed NCO stops to tell me that I'm out of uniform because my T-shirt isn't tucked in.

          First Sergeants who can't get over the fact that Warrants are different.

          Currency -vs- Proficiency (Did I mention we don't get to fly enough?).

          Why is it that the same SGM that is worried about my sleeves is wearing a flight suit when he's not even on flight status?

          Why is it that if an aviator has one bad landing out of hundreds or even thousands it can end his career, but finance and other staff pukes can screw up numerous times with no effect?

          SECRET missions that everybody and their brother knows about.

          The Russians are NOT REALLY our friends. Let's stop pretending they are.

          Politically correct terms like "fighter management" instead of "crew rest". "Attack by Fire position" instead of "Battle position". Oh, COME ON "Attack by Fire"? What the HELL else is there? "Attack by harsh words and dirty looks"? Jesus Christ, who the hell is writing this shit...

          3000 Series tasks. We wouldn't require these if we didn't get so ANAL that we couldn't or won't do anything until it's in writing.

          Dateline Desert Shield / Desert Storm: LTC Bn Cmdr shows his aviators how its done by lopping off the PNVS turret and destroying million dollar hellfire missiles and missile rack while landing in the dust. Aircraft goes into phase real early and incident is swept under the carpet. Same LTC makes 2nd star. How's that work again ???

          Pilot retention rate stinks so DA offers $12,000 annual bonus plan to pilots with 7-14 years service.

          Non-tracked recalls and pass-overs get $12,000 bonus after completing AH-64 AQC. Meanwhile, guys that have over 14 years and a lot more experience get frustrated and retire in droves.

          There is no experience left in the line units. All the old W4's ejected after Desert Storm and DA won't put seasoned aviators in the line units anymore. When a newbie crashes or creates an international incident, they blame the pilot, not his lack of training.

          Have already missed too many birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and I've seen the hurt in the eyes of friends that have too. The birth of a child is too important for a man to miss. Nothing short of combat operations should keep him from being there. Nobody is that important to an operation.

          Consideration of Others Training. If the big wigs are really concerned about everybody's feelings they should read the reason above.

          SP4s as Flight Engineers.

          The Chinese don't like us either. Let's stop pretending.

          General lack of clear foreign policy.

          English majors. I get tired of having my papers graded every time I turn in one of these worthless memos. And if you take it to 4 different guys and correct it after each one, number five would still tell you a different way to fix it.

          OPORDS - Do we really need an op order for everything we do? If we need an Op Order for a picnic, maybe we shouldn't have a picnic because the plastic spoons could be too dangerous to handle.

          I'm Just Not Having Any Fun Doing It Anymore... and that's sad. I love the Army but I hate the minority catering, social experiment that it's become.

          Acquisition Corps and the LCCs. They have done more damage to the Army than the Iraqi Republican Guards.

          Too many contradictions in terms that stem from the on going political correctness. Let me give you a couple of prime examples. "Non-deployable soldiers" - I realize that at times this can be due to temporary problems, but some are permanent. "Maternity - Battle Dress Uniform". Jesus, need I say more? We spent money on this and there is still no training ammo.

          Why is it that if the Armor, Infantry or Artillery talk trash about the other branches it can be called "pride" but if aviation does it - its called "arrogance"?

          We spend too much time apologizing about being aviation. I realize it's a team effort and we can't do our mission without the legs, tankers and cannon cockers. Do they realize the same about us?

          For I don't know how many years, General Rheimer was telling everyone how capable the Army is. On the eve of his retirement he decided to tell everyone that the Army is running on a "skeleton crew" and is over tasked. Not much has changed since then, but still nobody is listening.

          The great medical and dental care they promised me and my family over 20 years ago doesn't exist anymore.

          I used to walk into the TMC whenever I was sick or injured. Now I have to make an appointment for 4 weeks down the road, just so the Flight Surgeon can tell me there is nothing wrong with me now. Still, I can't self-medicate without getting in trouble. We really needed an HMO to run the military health care system - it works.

          Why should we have to apologize to Bosnians, Croats and Serbs about flying too low, when they admit that if we leave they will probably start fighting again?

          We fly helicopters - fast and low. We kicked the German and Italian asses - now we apologize to them everytime we crank the engines.

          People that try to cover up stupidity with lines like "You're in the Army, you signed up for this." Well, yes I did volunteer but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy and accept piss poor leadership. Neither should anyone else.

          If the purpose of accident investigations is accident prevention, why won't the Safety Center tell me what really caused the AH-64 accidents in Albania?

          "Dog & Pony Shows"

          I've been deployed for 6 months now. I was told I had a new baby in the house. I tried to call home. Some operator at Rucker tells me I'm only allowed one morale call home a month and hangs up on me.

          The aviation Class A accident rate has gone up this year. I'm sure its all pilot error. We're all just a bunch of reckless overpaid slobs out to ruin some poor RLOs career. It can't be because we're not allowed to conduct frequent and meaningful training. It can't be because the perstempo and optempo have worn out good people and hurt morale! No, it must be nothing more than sloppy flying by incompetent pilots.

          DLA - we're here to help.

          An RLO as a briefing officer? This guy was still sperm when I logged my 2,000th hour in type, took my first round in the leg, E and E'd out of the jungle, and shot my first enemy soldier. Now he's telling me what I can and can't do on the flight? What's up with that???

          Guys who spend their entire careers at Rucker, get promoted, and come around once every 18 months to tell me I'm all screwed up.



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