Question 83.1: Free Response

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Air Transport Command Enlisted Personnel Study

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83.1
Long as this questionnaire is, it does not cover everything. The space below is for any comments, suggestions, questions, or gripes that you would like to make.
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Being stationed at Bases like this or most any Army Base it seems to me work is secondary to much nonsense that exists. I have seen aircraft delayed 4-6 days because of meetings, retreats, formations etc. This sort of thing should take place in the Basic training time and not on a ATC Base. When you consider each man each Base doing all this; consider just how much longer it takes to get this war over. It certainly doesn't help a mans moral as he would much rather work.
My main gripe is that I have spent two winters on this island. The first, of which, we spent most of our time in building the camp we have in very rugged weather. Since then troops have moved in and get all the cream, so to speak. It gripes a guy to make p.f.c. after spending over a year and a half in this place, while some fellows never miss a promotion because of the fact that they polish the apple. Why isn't some consideration given to the amount of time a fellow is on a job and why doesn't the army give them promotions by giving tests, which a soldier must pass in order to make his promotion. Give them according to what a person knows + does rather than who he knows.
In regard to Question #80: the men in 8th Weather get enough time off tho they do work long hours at high tension. In my own case, my desire to get my job done properly has kept me on duty for longer hours than are actually required. Having had considerable foreign duty, I feel that it's the men outside the country who work too long and hard with little or no compensation.

The main bad feature about this post is the presence of hundreds of overpaid, goldbricking civilians. There are 3 civilians assigned to the same job handled by one Army Man - and two Civilians stand and watch while the third works. And, the civilians are Blatantly obvious about their goldbricking.
Long hours hard work no time off no promotions, only to certain ones keep men stationed here too long, they should either ship them back to the states for awhile and then if they wanted to go overseas again, let them go staying at one place all time is very bad on the morale dont you think so?
If the officers would back the enlisted men and stop trying to use them to put more bars on their own shoulders it would be better. If Col.Loomis would leave it would be a much better place & the morale of the men would be higher I'm sure. Such things as putting a 11 o'clock curfew on enlisted men and letting officers run around as late as they like doesn't help the morale of the men. The only officers that I have any respect for here are the flying officers.
When the ratings go in the fellows who have a rating jump a grade higher all the time. I guess you have to kiss ass to make one.

I enlisted in the army to do sheetmetal work and never did get it. I have never got any benefit out of the army yet. I would have done better if I'd stayed out and worked in a defense plant. I could be doing a lot more to win the war out of the army than in it.
Gripe: That fact that the administration of my outfit cannot - or will not state definitely how long a man has to stay in this place before being relieved is very bad for morale. If a man could spend the required time and be sure of relief at the end of it, I think everyone would feel much better for it.

I should like very much to continue schooling after the war on a part-time basis, if a whole-time schooling is not possible. And I should enjoy working for either an airline company or the CAA in my present capacity.
The purpose of our being in the army is to win the war. We are given a job to do - thus it would transpire that the job is the important thing. But not in Presque Isle. I have heard it said by officers that the job is not important, that squadron duty comes first. Am I helping win the war when I lose 2 hours one day to receive a good conduct medal, police the area for visiting congress men, etc? To keep up on my work I must work nights & Sundays - but why keep up when the jobs not important? I don't know, but I am fairly conscientious & do my utmost.

Why must one's ability be judged by his rank? Ratings have been frozen or the section head has forgottenthemto put them in when they're not - ok - that's just one of those things. But why am I, a PFC, automatically an ignoramus? Any other gripes would probably stem from the fact that I have lived alone most of my life & am terribly irritated by my present companions. However, Sq A in particular & P1 as a whole can't be said to be distinguished by the intellect in them. By the way, hope that these papers can be of some use - seems like a good idea.
I have been here for 16 months and when we came up here we were to stay here 8 months and go back to the States and I am ready to go back there now.

I made Sgt while I was here and lost it and I don't think it was my fault and I never had any chance to defend myself, my C.O. would not let me talk to him about it.
At present, am working an 8 hour night shift. Suggest a change as men are losing weight and its too hard to sleep in the daytime. I was working one shift for a month.

Suggest cutting out formation on our off duty hours as these cause us to lose sleep. Suggest cutting out the use of Airplane Mechanics and other specialists for KP, and squadron duty.
All I have to say is this place would be 80 percent better if it was run like a an army camp and not a boy scout. They have good men here but they haven't been given a chance to show their capability. Th men's morale is lowered a great deal. The officers have more or less a racket. They care nothing about the men as a whole. The non-com's are piss poor. They just throw the rank because they have a job and not because they are a soldier.

I myself tried for 16 months to be a good soldier the best I knew how. Now I am discouraged. I will keep trying because I know when this is over it will be worth it. Thank You.
I would like to get off this damn place. I think a year for any man up here is sufficient. I don't eat most of the food they serve. Because I have false teeth. Being up here for over a year kind of dulls a mans thinking. He really can't think very clearly.

The officers are really chicken shit. For instance if an enlisted man doesn't show up for work one day he wants to throw the book at him. But it seems alright for an officer to come to work when he pleases. What is he getting paid for. The Canadians can ride a girl in a jeep. While us G.I.'s have to do a lot of sneaking around to give a girl a drive. It seems okay up here for the offices to have girls and plenty of whiskey in their rooms. But it sure is murder for us G.I.'s to have a little whiskey around outside of the club.This place is really like a prison once every three months a man can go on pass if he is lucky to get it. Some officers are very funny, no matter how hard a man works if he has it in for you. You will getplenty of shit details, while the other G.I.'s who do less get away with murder. Everything in this Army Air Force is just a bunch of cliques, if you are in one of the good ones, you are lucky. Signing off.
It is my opinion that the men in my particular outfit are not rated highly enough. If a T.O. is made up for a squadron such as this it should be up to the commanding General to see that it is adhered to. It is a well known fact that enlisted men in the States are rated better than the men in the squadrons who are serving and have served in the North. The "8th" has shown no consideration for it's personnel and apparently does not care to. I can see no remedy for this situation unless the Commanding General, Army Air Forces, takes the matter into his own hands. It is my contention that no one in Weather Wing Hq has done anything there for because our C.O. holds too much rank and has seniority over most Weather Wing men. I could be proud of this Squadron if it would look after it's own: I AM proud of the fine job the men in the region are doing, officers as well as enlisted men, and it is a crime to have the fine work go by unrecognized. I do not expect to remain in this Squadron long (for reason of rotation) but what I have said will go even after I have left it and whatever I say will be said again and again no matter where I happen to be stationed. Yes, reader, rating are the chief gripe in this Squadron, but for that it would not be a bad one to work for. Weather Work is very interesting and demands the best in a man. I am proud to say I have given mine to this work and sorry it hasn't paid off except to swell by pride in myself.
I have always wanted to do something notable but the army has never let me try. Anything I do or try to do the best I can but it be terribly hard when your doing something you dislike. I think a lot of valuable manpower is being wasted by misapointment or misclassification and therefore making the man last longer. The squadron that I am in now is a very good example. We have a lot of men that are just wasting valuable time and money who are capable of filling worthwhile jobs. I don't think that anyone of the men in the squadron is doing a single thing for the war effort. There are a lot of improvements that could be made that would make my present job seem much more worthwhile. This is suppose to be a modern fast moving war but we still cling to age old ideas that are of little value. The same purpose can be accomplished in other ways. I don't think one man should be assigned to theGuardSquadron for more than a month at the most. There should never be a Guard Squadron. Let ever man on the base take his turn. Guard Squadron for the most part is a waste of time and money.
I think that a fellow should be given some kind of break as to promotion. If a man gets into an outfit that has a very low T.O and the T.O. is taken before he goes into the outfit, he hasn't a chance of showing his qualities. A fellow doesn't do his best work when he knows that he hasn't any possible chance of advancement. That is the chief worry of the enlisted men, he sees his old pals go up in the army and he remains in the lower bracket, this one fact lowers the morale of the enlisted man more than any other. Frankly I would like if

we transferred to have a chance to get somewhere. Being tied down with a low T.O. since I have been in the army, I have lost confidence in myself, and don't know whether I would be capable of responsibility any more or not, but would like a chance. I think after a year in a desolate place like this a man should be eligible for rotation.
1. Other men and myself have been at this base 16 months or over with no furlough of any kind while some men with equal service here have been on leave 2 or 3 times.

2. Censors occasionally discuss what is written in our letters with enlisted men and officers working with them. 3. Promotions should be given to men who can pass a test on their type of work.
The Army isn't bad. Keeping a man in one place like this to long turns his back on his work. Nothing to do nothing to see. I have been here 16 months and I want to go back to the states for a while. I am losing what education I have right here !!

But since I have to stay here I keep it to my self and do my job as I am told.
1 - I've been in Grade for 16 months and still haven't received a higher grade. I've been working at some pretty important jobs and found that the Officer in Charge refuses to go "to bat" for his men.

2 - Men should receive more 72 hr passes. As things are right now, we receive them once every 3 or 4 months. 3. -Is this questianair actually going to do the men any good ?? 4.- How about trying to straighten our Mess Hall out? They serve meals that we wouldn't give to our enemy. They get good food to work on but when the cooks get through with the chow ,-- ugh.
It is my opinion that we are trying to win the war, and the main purpose of the A.T.C. is to transport planes and supplies to the fighting front.

It is also my opinion that there are officers and enlisted men on this base who look after their own ego and not the purpose of our being here. I have understood the officers and enlisted men mostly of the squadron orderly room to state they do not care how many planes come in or how much work there is on the line. That our duty is in the squadron first and work has been interrupted several times to stand formation & drill so as not to be restricted on our off duty hours.
In my opinion orientation should be discontinued the men discuss the war enough among themselves. See that rotation is carried out in his area without holding men for periods long beyond plans set up by A.T.C. Discharging of squadrons sent into the area and placing them in units never cared for by the men. In place of giving enlisted men exams, why not examine officers to see if they qualify for their work.