When Airmen Refuse to Play Ball

Although Airmen don't write their own EPRs, they are expected to keep track of their accomplishments and provide a list of EPR inputs when it's time for EPRs. Once in a while, even after being asked several times, an Airman will not provide any inputs at all. This puts you in a tough spot because, on the other side, you have an NCOIC or First Sergeant who demands good, well-written EPRs on everyone. What are your options in this situation? How do you produce an EPR with no input? Replies will be posted below.

I once had a troop who refused to provide any EPR inputs despite being asked several times. He didn't outright refuse, he just never gave them to me. He always had an excuse. I asked him at least three times and stressed how important it was, especially as it got closer to close-out time. He had just rotated back to the states after being assigned to Korea and was scheduled to get out in 6 months so maybe that's the reason for his lack of motivation and refusal to cooperate.

Anyway, so here I am, faced with a deadline -and I cannot be late -and no content. Although I would have liked to have given him a two and a blank EPR, the policy in the squadron was that anybody who hadn't been in trouble (anyone without documented trouble) was an automatic FIVE. So, what I wound up doing for this inconsiderate jerk was making up an entire EPR with other people's accomplishments. They were the type of accomplishments that were team efforts and that were already being shared in multiple EPRs even though he had no part in most of them. I really hated doing that but the First Sergeant (who QC'd all EPRs) was inflexible.

The only bright spot in this story was when a civilian job recruiter called me a few months later as a reference for this Airman. This jerk had the gall to list me as a reference! I told that lady that I was astonished that he would list me as a reference because he was the most irresponsible troop we'd ever had in our workcenter. I gave her examples of his performance and told her how he used to neglect his responsibilities, sleep on mid shifts, and leave junior Airmen unsupervised. He didn't get the job and I didn't receive any other calls. []

The above comment is the best example of a Teflon NCO that I have read in a long time. A supervisors job is to know your subordinates, putting what you know about them into an EPR should not be difficult. The above asked a subordinate to do the supervisors job, and then got angry and vengeful when he didn't. It isn't hard to imagine why his subordinate separated from service with an example of leadership like that. If you want your subordinates to go the extra mile for you, you had better be already going the extra mile for them. They learn from you, if you aren't aware of what they are doing at work, and taking the time to get to know them, how can you possibly expect them to want to do your work as well? I am a Munitions Flight Chief and a MASO, I used to be a First Sergeant, and I am ashamed of the above comment.[]

yeah yeah we all know the party line. But we're talking about reality not ideals. We, who are actually in the workcenter, ARE aware of what everyone is doing and CAN write an EPR that accurately describes what anyone in it has done. But we might not have enough content. And it would be very nice if an Airman was considerate enough to provide inputs when asked. We may actually be surprised by something we weren't aware of.[]

I think this might be the same First Sergeant who insisted I give a dirt-bag SrA a five when I had already given him a four (which was more than he deserved). This First Sergeant didn't know either one of us and had never been to our shop. He said people's careers were being "affected"! I asked him, where were you when I got a four last year and I worked my ass off! His excuse was, well, I wasn't here then. What a load of manure. I would have given that guy a THREE.[]

It is not the First Segeant's fault, they can not make policy, they are only following the Commanders' instructions. []

First let me state that I'm an AF Reserve MSgt, and before you AD guys say he doesn't know what he's talking about, I want you to hear me out. I've been writing EPRs for the last 10 years and it was my Capt from AD that taught me how to write EPRs to his standard and he was tough back when he was teaching me and he is still tough now as my current Squadron Commander today. So, my comments are based on the way my Sqdn CO taught me how to write EPRs and keep track of what my Airmen are doing. The NCO in the first comment should have gotten a 3 for not knowing his people. EPRs are not hard to write if people would just read the directions for each individual section. The direction for each section tells you exactly what to consider and write about. The second commenter is correct in that work center personnel are aware of what's going on and who is doing the work. If the NCO in the first comment had such a hard time with the Airman then he should have held a counseling session, but it does not excuse him for not reviewing his duty assignment records and 632a entries in the Airman's training record, to be able to write that EPR. He basically wanted the subordinate to write it for him. I currently teach EPR writing in my squadron to the CO's standard, and the famous line I hear a lot is "I don't have anything to write", so I reply what do you mean, and I get "He/She is a new gain" and hasn't done anything yet. I tell the shop supervisors to assign the Airman as shop safety rep, Squadron Booster Rep, get the Airman CPR/AED certified, ask about community service, ask if he/she donated monies to a charity when paying for groceries at local supermarket, bought Girl Scout cookies, and so on. The EPR program is inflated because our leaders constantly say "Careers are affected", so we get inflated EPRs. I wrote an EPR and gave my TSgt 4s (I actually wanted to give her 3s, but was instructed not to) across the board and she refused to sign and demanded that I change my rating. I refused. She went to the 1Sgt and CO and demanded that they make me change my rating. I had a counseling session with both Co and Shirt and I explained to them why I was not changing the rating. I told the CO and Shirt that I was here to serve the needs of MY country and the Air Force not the personal needs of any individual and that they could remove me as her rater if they wanted to, but they let it go at that. The CO tasked the Shirt with convincing the TSgt to sign the EPR. She refused and then called 4th AF IG on me. When contacted by the IG I presented 3 LOCs on the TSgt in a 12 month period, 1 from our Sq Chief while I was deployed and 2 from me when I returned from deployment. The IG asked, does she have a UIF and I said "No", because the CO did not want to hurt her career. Well, the IG said I did not have to change my rating because of the 3 LOCs and informed the TSgt of this. She was upset and still refused to sign. Long story short, a month after the IG investigation and refusing to sign for the 4th time, she disobeyed a lawful order from our sq Readiness officer and went AWOL. When confronted with she did, she knowingly gave both verbal and written false statements which were used to convince her sign and retire at her present rank or face a court martial and lose rank, money and possible confinement. She was not happy but she signed the EPR and retired. []

Wow. The above comment is the best example of a vengeful NCO I have ever read. A supervisor's job is to mentor, guide and groom their subordinates, not murder their careers. I am an active-duty First Sergeant and ashamed of the above conduct. We are here to help and mediate.

I'm a SrA trying to find bullets, I didn't expect all this drama. I was told to write things down that I do such as work bullets, volunteer and Schooling. Then I try and make them into good bullets and submit them to my supervisor. It's really not hard as long as when you do something you take notes. The only difficult thing is the wording, I can't use fancy words but have to make it sound fancy. Get. Me. Out. DD214 please.

For the above comment, I'm a SrA, and have been writing my own bullets since tech school. (super long tech school, had to have an EPR done) the easiest way to write a bullet before changing it so it fits and is the "correct" wording, is to look at it as: 1)what did I do? 2)who did it affect, and 3)what was the impact it had on mission

Wow; I am surprised that a 1st Sergeant would see that MSgt as a vengeful SNCO. I see a SNCO who is holding his NCOs accountable for their actions. We can mentor, guide and groom subordinates but it is kind of like leading a horse to water; you cannot make them drink.

The MSgt did NOT murder his subordinate's career; she did THAT all on her own. It saddens me that (assuming you are not a troll pretending to be a Shirt) we have people in that level of leadership who would see this dirtbag as automatically reflective as bad supervision instead of an adult fully capable of making their own decisions and taking the consequences for those decisions.

Everyone is bashing the first comment. Maybe he's in the same boat I am. I didn't find out this individual was my troop (one of six) until I deployed and I haven't worked directly with this individual in 8 months. Now because he tested well and made rank I'm expected to write a gold plated EPR. He isn't good at his job and has provided me with very little information.

In a large workcenter, with multiple shifts, how is it unreasonable to ask your subordinate to keep track of their own work? It's not like they need to write their own bullets, it can be as simple as a list of what they've done.

Don't try to pretend you're the best supervisor on the planet that knows every single task your troop on another shift has done all year... you probably don't even remember everything YOU'VE done. If your troop isn't sending you information, elevate it. Ask YOUR supervisor to have a word.

The last commenter has the best advice on this topic yet.

How do you write an EPR on someone that doesn't even have a security clearance and cannot do their job, or core tasks?! He's a nice guy and is eager to learn but I've got nothing to go on.

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