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Here's an interesting little peek into the head of an officer...

...who is so self-centered that she can't see the forest for the trees. And was dumb enough to put it in email. Which, since she is a below-the-zone (BZ, i.e., selected ahead of her peers) is an example of you may be smart and talented, but you can still be dumber'n a rock. I'm going to let the words speak for themselves... and then I'll post the rebuttal that went out.

Yes, this note went out, and yes, this officer exists - though I'm suspecting when she's moving around now, she covers her nametag. I'll have another post on a different aspect of this on Monday. She's griping about the fact that here she is, all special, and the Captains who weren't selected BZ will get this bonus she refers to, while she won't, because... she'll outrank them. She wants her bonus and her early promotion, too. Else she's being... punished. Heh. Interesting concept of duty - and a profound ignorance of the significance of her BZ selection. Which she'll get schooled on later. Hey, at least she'll get the pay - I was frocked to Major six months early - all the responsibilities, none of the pay...

What I find more disturbing than the whining of this Captain is that her mentors, presumably senior Lieutenant Colonels or Colonels, are encouraging them to... whine like a Private, vice pointing out what you'll see in the response.

I removed the names, hers has been spread all over the inside of a good chunk of the Army, no need to pile on here.

THE LETTER FROM CJ

Subject: BZ to MAJ - CPTs Bonus (MILPER 07-237)

Good morning, fellow BZers~

After discussing this MILPER message with my mentors and other BZers, I have decided that we should all do something about it. I hope you don't mind that I emailed you and took a few moments out of your day.

I don't know about each of you, but this bonus really makes me angry. We are being punished financially by the Army for being better than our peers. We won't pin until sometime next year; probably May-July and our peers will get $25-35,000 and get pinned in October. I don't know about you, but 4 months of MAJs pay isn't equal to a $25,000 bonus in my eyes.

If the bonus was for YG 2000-2004, I wouldn't even worry about it.

But we are YG99 and our peers, the ones that haven't worked as hard as us, are getting rewarded.

So, why am I emailing you and bitching? Well, my mentors all agree that we are getting screwed. And, they all think that we should all first contact our IG, then, write to our Congressmen. My COL thinks that might make an impact. It may not change anything, but it is worth a try.

The 82nd Division IG has already contacted the HRC IG and they told him it is all about the money. There is a shocker! They said there are already a bunch of IG complaints about the message, so let's beat them up more. Just so you know, there are 177 of us on the list. If all 177 of us took the money, they would pay out close to $5 million. That's about 3 new Humvees, 2 new tanks OR ½ an aircraft. I think we are worth it.

Again, if this means nothing to you and you just think I am whining, hit delete and go on with your day. But, if you are pissed like me and want to do something about it, let me know.

Have a great day and congratulations on your promotable status!!

V/R~

CJ

Hey, CJ, I'm a little annoyed, and I didn't hit delete. You put it out in email to the world, so I'm sharing it.

Now comes the spanking.

Well, actually, you'll have to go to the Extended Entry/Flash Traffic to catch the schooling.

THE RESPONSE FROM LTC XXXX

Nxxx -

Let me open by saying I heartily dislike CPT (P) S.

First, because she has 'CPT(P)' in her signature block.

Second, because she's preaching about how unfair life is while soaking in her own light at an ROTC position at Xxxxxxxxxx University. I spent my entire time as a Captain in MTOE assignments ... in Korea, 10th Mountain (twice), and Fort Polk (TDA ... but 11 rotations per year ... in 'nowhere Louisiana').

Captain time in ROTC at Xxxxxxxxx University? Yeah ... she has a whole lot to complain about.

And third, because of this line (among the many): 'we are being punished ... for being better than our peers'. 'Better'? Near as I can tell, you have the no Respect, no Loyalty, no sense of Duty, no Honor, and no sense of Selfless Service ... if that is 'better than your peers', then I truly fear for your Year Group.

Here are my thoughts.

BREAK. BREAK.

To the authors -

For a bunch of BZ'ers, your math and strategic thinking skills are sub-standard. And you have a real Values crisis. Let me provide some mentoring.

These two email strings validate some of the most terrible things that have been said about BZ Officers over my twenty+ years ... that BZ Officers have a false sense of entitlement, that BZ Officers are arrogant, and that BZ Officers are elitist (in the Paris Hilton sense of the word).

BZ Officers absolutely deserved to be selected BZ. However, for every Officer who was selected BZ, there are three other Officers who were equally deserving ... Officers with the exact same level of performance, and the exact same level of potential. Any BZ Officer who doesn't know that in his or her heart doesn't deserve to be BZ.

The differences between you and that Officer to your left who wasn't selected is art and serendipity ... you worked for Ernest Hemingway, while the Officer to your right worked for a Senior Rater who couldn't write very well; your former Brigade Commander sat on the Board; the Board was looking for a particular skill set, and HRC assigned you to that position two years ago; the Officer to your left had a personality conflict with his Rater in 2005. Did any of you complain about the inherent unfairness of that process after you were selected BZ? No? I didn't think so.

Y'all would've had my absolute respect if en masse you had written to the 'Army Times' about how you felt the BZ-selection process was unfair to the Officer to your left ... but you didn't do that.

Instead, you want to write to the 'Army Times' and your Congressman about the unfairness of the CSRB process. You've earned my disdain. And so have the 'mentors' who are encouraging this Pity Party.

Here is your Retention Bonus. Historically, BZ Officers have significantly out-performed their peers in terms of selection to senior commands, and the ranks of Colonel and General Officer. I don't have the exact numbers, but these figures are in the ball-park: although BZ rates run about 5%, fully 40% of all Battalion Commanders were BZ to MAJ or LTC; and the number of Officers BZ to MAJ or LTC who are NOT selected for Battalion Command is extremely low, probably less than 10%. With the advent of masked O3-and- below OER's and universal CGSOC (CGSOC was a huge discriminator to BN CMD ... In my YG, only 1 of 23 Signal Officers selected for BN CMD was non-resident), I think those percentages will be even higher.

Your CSRB bonus is Battalion Command. And why is that important?

Well, since these emails seem solely focused on money (and not Army Values), I'll reply in terms of $$$ (as much as that disgusts me).

Last year, every single Former Signal Battalion Commander (FSBC) in the zone was selected for O6. Every one. Only one non-FSBC was selected, and he was a former Centrally Selected Division G6. Do you know how much more money a COL makes than a LTC? Do you know how much money a retired O6 makes compared to a retired O5? Do you how much money that adds up to over the course of a thirty or forty year retirement? A hell of alot more than $25K.

In 2006, Vernon Wells received a signing bonus of $25.5 million from the Toronto Blue Jays. In January 2007, Bob Nardelli abruptly resigned as chairman and chief executive of Home Depot after only six years at the helm ... the Atlanta-based company said Nardelli would receive a severance package worth roughly $210 million.

Here's a thought, write to the 'Army Times' about that.

Number of Signal General Officers on Active Duty who were not Battalion Commanders... Zero (0).

Number of Signal General Officers on Active Duty who were never selected BZ ... Zero (0).

Your CSRB is an EXPONENTIALLY better chance than your peers to lead and mold the Army of 2015 and beyond. Apparently, you think that opportunity is worth less than a check for $25K in 2007. Or, you think that the promotion board simply recognized your glowing superiority. You should be absolutely ashamed of this conversation ... except shame would require Values that I don't think you possess.

One of the biggest challenges for a BZ Officer is that they start to believe their own press, and pretty soon, we have Terrell Owens in Battalion Command. The vast majority of General Officers are deeply, deeply humbled by their position ... they fully recognize how many truly outstanding, equally deserving Officers were simply not selected to be General Officers. You've been in the Army less than 10 years, and you've already lost all sense of humility. Woe to the Army of 2015.

'Well, my mentors all agree that we are getting screwed'. Go ask MAJ Ed Murphy about how he got screwed. Oh, that's right, you can't ...because he's dead ... he was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Go ask his widow about how MAJ Murphy got screwed.

Y'all can compare notes.

'I think we are worth it.' I think you are worth exactly thirty pieces of silver.

That Lieutenant Colonel said it better than I would have.

I should add - most BZ officers I know are stand-up people. and not sniveling self-absorbed babies.

27 Comments

Oh my god....how could she type and suck her thumb at the same time?????? Got perspective? I love the LTC's response.
 
We love dirty laundry
 
with the hearty humility earned from multiple non-select notices from being "not educationally qualified", i hereby propose an elegant solution thus: "here's yer 25k. BZ selection revoked. next assignment revised: report immediately to Johnston Atoll for unaccompanied tour; duties as assigned for Morale Support Officer (those basketballs at the gym don't hand themselves out)." btw, in my personal experience, almost all of the BZ dudes i have met have been great guys who had crystal clear understanding of the serendipity involved in such process and nevertheless were truly great warriors... not that i was hanging out with many of them, but would gladly share a beer at the Club with them.
 
One more reason why I was glad to only be an NCO....and why some folks give officers a bad name even though there are good ones out there.
 
One or two, eh, BS? 8^ D
 
HOOAH MAJ. MIKE!!!!!!!! That's EXACTLY what I had in mind; you just said it with more authority and clarity.
 
Wow. Well and truly spanked, there. And deservedly so.
 
And yet sadly.. (with a bit of lateral thinking and Googling skills) according to AKO white pages, this rear echelon whiner got her O-4 for real since this mess hit the net.
 
In today's America, everyone's a victim competing to see who's the biggest victim of them all.
 
I fear for the future of my beloved Signal Corps. To the responding LTC, all I can say is "YOU ROCK, SIR!"
 
*chuckle* My guess is that there's a crusty old NCO somewhere in this Princess's limited sphere of influence....encouraging her to "right the terrible wrong she's been done". Classic.......
 
Carrie, after reading this, I have a question for you. How does this individual suck their thumb? Please consider their cranial-rectal status, STUCK. This would explain the crappy outlook and style in writing. Just a thought. Grumpy
 
Grumpy - such subtlety! Whoosh, Flame On!
 
Lions and Tigers and Bears.... Oh, my. With this circulating about, this LTC may have done more to help the Army of 2015 than this two-bar Captain over cammie (BZ over wine) might have done over her time to hurt it. Semper Fi, LTC! Semper Fi! (I just can't bring myself to say "HUA!" just yet...but this LTC inspires the consideration.)
 
There's three kinds of intelligences. Animal intelligence, human intelligence, and meta-human intelligence. There is only one kind of wisdom though. Those with meta-intelligence can manipulate and study anyone below them like humans study animal intelligence or when training dogs. I'll leave it to people's imagination where CJ slots into.
 
We'll turn you to the Dark Side yet, Steve.
 
sheesh... "CJ" = Collossal lack of Judgement. She's married to a Major too...$ + $ =$$$. My God, what was she thinking when she sent this out? They must be getting a blog s-storm at Campbell because her bio and e-mail address have been taken down from the ROTC Cadre page. (Google's cache still shows it). I feel bad for her CO and the other officers in her unit. If you want to see what a professional O-3 is capable of putting into an e-mail go read the note of thanks that Coast Guard H-60 pilot LT Brian McLaughlin wrote to his ship-driving colleague LT James Terrell on the CGC Munro after the recent Alaska Ranger rescue in the Bering Sea. It's at www.uscg.mil/cgjournal/ - It's a good read.
 
Pointyendofthespear, "Thinking" ?!?! Facts not in evidence!
 
Almost Scrappleface like. Someone who just "does not get it." I hope her peers take care of her...
 
Heh, Firget the S-storm CJ is weathering... Can you imagine what it must be like for her husband these days? The silence that erupts when he walks into the O-Club? Like the man said... "I Pity the Fool!"
 
As a (retired) Signal Corps officer, I'm just glad that the 2000lb bomb that landed on that jack@$$ Captain was delivered by a Signaleer. I'd love to know who that was... As far as the original note that precipitated the response...what can you say? Utter stupidity.
 
It's one thing being stupid and self-absorbed. It's another putting it in writing and another still going against the social flow and marketing your stupidity.
 
Of course the above describes me as well.
 
Great fun watching the green on green wordfare firefight. I declare the LTC the winner by every possible criteria. As for the whiney wench, there are greener pastures for those with her skill set and ATTITUDE as a political correctness Human Resources diversity bully out in the civilin workforce. Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out! She just set back the progress of women in the military by a number of years. I hope her detaching OER notes the discredit she has brought upon her command and her service, so that future promotion boards do not repeat this mistake.
 
Well, my mentors all agree that we are getting screwed. And, they all think that we should all first contact our IG, then, write to our Congressmen. Methinks the damosel confuseth the term "mentor" with "sycophant." As possibly do the *mentors*. Which may be the crux of the matter...
 
Her "writing" skills would have been far better employed doing a letter of resignation. Anyone suffering from such an obvious case of terminal anal-cranial inversion will probably earn their just reward eventually.