CMSAF James Roy sent an e-mail message to command chiefs and career field managers in early April, urging them to act as mentors and guide the junior enlisted corps to successful futures in the Air Force. “The theme of the message was that too much arbitrary guidance could prove to be counterproductive,” wrote Roy in a subsequent release to the enlisted corps. “As supervisors, the more leverage we have to deal with situations on a case-by-case basis, the better.” Roy called on senior noncommissioned officers to hold NCOs and senior airmen responsible for providing fair ratings during required feedback sessions. He said some airmen have suggested that these sessions would be easier if there were an “arbitrary quota” for the number of five ratings—the highest rating—allowed per unit. “I’m not interested in doing what’s easy,” states Roy in his April 13 release. He continued, “We don’t need quotas. Instead, we need bold leaders to set high standards and help airmen achieve them. We need bold leaders to confront those airmen who don’t meet standards and document that feedback. We need those bold leaders to rate each individual fairly and accurately, and that isn’t easy.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.