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The Air Force Senior Enlisted Member Is Asking The Tough Questions Like: Why Did An Officer Discipline An Airman For Trying To Kill Themselves

The Air Force’s top enlisted leader is looking into an incident involving an airman who was sent a Letter of Reprimand and a Letter of Counsel shortly after attempting suicide.

The airman said their unit, the 460th Space Wing’s Dental Flight based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., was plagued by toxic leadership problems and a hostile work environment, and other airmen stepped up on Facebook to share their own horror stories from the unit.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass told Task & Purpose that, while the incident took place last year and the airman involved has since left the service, “this situation gives us an opportunity to reflect on the culture we need, where Airmen understand their responsibilities as both leaders and wingmen,” she said. “A culture where respect, trust, accountability, and compassion guide our actions.”

First of all, great reporting here by my pals at Task and Purpose. They are an invaluable part of military news at this point. Great shit always. 

Anyway, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass is EXACTLY what branches of service need. For so long, the leadership voices have always been the same, looked the same, and largely thought the same. JoAnne, being a woman, clearly has a different voice than the usual senior enlisted advisor of a branch and that is a welcome change in my book. 

The letter in question here is legit crazy. You'd read it and think there is absolutely no way a Major could be so fucking stupid as to council a young service member for trying to kill himself while there's currently program-after-program designed to quell the fiery demons inside too many troops. 

Although the Major who wrote these asinine letters of reprimand outranks the Chief Master Sergeant, the old adage remains true. "Do not confuse your rank with my billet." When the senior enlisted advisor wants something to happen, something to change, something to improve, it is hard to overlook that. 

This isnt the first time Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass has found shit online and got stuff done herself. Shes used her rank and role to intervine on a case of sexual harrassment and assualt of an airman in Japan. When the airman's pleas for help werent being answered, the CMSgt commented on an instagram post to contact her directly. That kind of change in approach is what will ultimately help the military begin to turn the tide of the way that lotss of women in uniform are treated. 

Not only that, but dont try to troll her, dudes. 

Like the bronzed god David Hasselhoff, one does not simply hassle Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass, at least not without having one’s career threatened.

But that’s exactly what happened on Facebook on Saturday, when the Air Force’s top enlisted leader wrecked an airman who asked in a comment whether her last name was pronounced like the species of fish or the musical instrument.

“SSgt Banks — hmmm seems like you and a few of your friends enjoy trolling our Air Force sites,” Bass wrote in response to the comment asking “is it bass or bass.”

“Give me a call Monday,” the top enlisted airman continued. “I’d like to chat about it. Maybe I’m missing something.”

Maybe Im missing something is the air force version of… "Is that the joke"

Anyway, great job by the CMS of the Air Force. Come on ZBT. Additionally, there was a new episode that dropped today.