So the Good Idea Fairy deserved her own song, and so I gave her one. I didn’t intend to belabor the reflective PT Belt when I started, but it is such an obvious symbol of a “good idea” that has run amuck that I ended up running with it here. And, yes, poor old Private Fizzlebeef in panel #4 is weaving a basket out of PT Belts.
The typical victims of GIF-ism are frequently the NCO’s, or Non-Commissioned Officers. True, the young Enlisted troops have to bear many of the burdens of Good Ideas, but it is the NCO’s, those professional middle-management Sergeants and Staff Sergeants, that have to implement policies they know are time-wasting, pointless, or purely symbolic gestures– and they have to implement the policy with an aura of seriousness that the projects frequently don’t deserve.
These NCO’s are beholden to the “NCOER”, or “Non-Commissioned Officer Evaluation Report”. I’ve mentioned them before but it was a long time ago, when Joe Rock had to start filling out NCOERs shortly after his promotion to Sergeant when the unit was in Iraq. An NCOER is supposed to be a reflection of a sergeant’s character and dedication, drive and initiative, and so on. It is an essential metric for career advancement, and the sergeant is evaluated by his or her immediate superior (usually another, more senior sergeant of higher rank). But the evaluation also has to be signed off by a “senior rater”, and of course eventually the Sergeant-Major sees the report on his or her desk when it is time to consider promotions.
And, of course, if that Sergeant-Major remembers that one time a year and a half ago when the sergeant being evaluated didn’t agree with the PT Belt policy the Sergeant-Major dreamed up…