The U.S. Air
Force has rebelled against the annoying late 20th century custom of creating
many annual training courses to deal with persistent social or organizational
problems. From now on, instead of spending nine hours a year attending training
for things like suicide prevention, anti-terrorism awareness, handling
classified data, sex related issues, and so on, only 90 minutes a year would be
used for all these reminders. This move is very popular among those who have to
sit through these sessions, and those who have to give them. The troops are
also encouraged by such a bold move. In the past, every time another of these
annual classes was added, there was grumbling about "spineless and clueless
generals," and "damn politicians."
With a war on, these
mandatory classes were getting in the way of increased workloads. Many
subordinate commanders were reporting that, with so many troops working so much
overtime, it was a real morale killer to insist that they attend these
unpopular classes as well.
In the distant past,
troops were warned once about a lot of this stuff, and NCOs were expected to
make sure no one forgot. However, this is not a return to the old ways. The
mandatory annual classes may be reinstated once the war is over, especially if
anyone in Congress complains that air force generals are not doing enough to
deal with one problem or another.