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Air Reserve Technicians

Air reserve technicians, commonly referred to as ARTs, are a nucleus of managers, planners and trainers who have knowledge and expertise to smooth Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) units' transition from a peacetime to a wartime environment. They provide management continuity, equipment maintenance and training support to help keep their units combat ready.

Air reserve technicians carry dual status, working as full-time civil service employees for the Air Force and as military members in the same AFRC units where they work as civilians and performing the same job. A civil servant or public servant is a civilian career public sector employee working for a government department or agency. In their civilian role, air reserve technicians provide full-time support throughout the month for their units. In the AFRC, air reserve technicians participate with other reservists on weekends and annual active-duty tours.

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Civil10  
#1 Posted : Thursday, September 13, 2007 1:20:42 AM(UTC)
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Wow, with a stroke of a pen, and now the General has us wearing are Military Uniforms, whats next? But from reading the articles, it appears that the ARTS will wear the uniform and adhear to the standards, but receive no other benefits, as do the active duty. So how does this work, am I now incharge of the active duty military when I'm in uniform??? That should go over well. And when I'm off base do I still really have to adhear to the standards???? I'm not in any kind of status. But the General will get his respect, but it's forced respect not earned.

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 13, 2007 at 07:00 PM.]

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 13, 2007 at 07:02 PM.]
steven_gldmn  
#2 Posted : Thursday, September 13, 2007 3:44:45 AM(UTC)
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Sorry Civil10, but I do not understand what you are talking about. Are you talking about civilian employees having to wear military uniforms while in dangerous zones in the Global War On Terror (GWOT)? Please explain.
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Civil10  
#3 Posted : Thursday, September 13, 2007 6:57:32 AM(UTC)
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They want ARTS to wear the uniform every day of the week, like the Guard does. I just must of missed something when I signed up to be a Civilian. I did'nt know I was really enlisting all over again. So anyone wanting a Civilian Job, you better read into it, your really enlisting, but don't know it. But, is it going to kill me, no, but I'm in maintenance and I'm sure I will go through many sets of uniforms. And in a day where the Gov is trying to save money and limit potential targets of terrorism, where is the logic????

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 13, 2007 at 07:00 PM.]

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 13, 2007 at 07:00 PM.]

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 13, 2007 at 07:01 PM.]
shiisa  
#4 Posted : Thursday, September 13, 2007 6:59:45 AM(UTC)
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what is ARTS??
Civil10  
#5 Posted : Thursday, September 13, 2007 7:53:37 AM(UTC)
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Air Reserve Technician, a full time civilian, who is also a member of the Reserves.
NurseSue  
#6 Posted : Thursday, September 13, 2007 4:10:34 PM(UTC)
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If you don't want to wear the uniform then get an non-military tech job. Think about it, part of your job requirement is to be in the reserve, so you knew it wasn't a "civillian" job from the get go. There are many many perks with being a military tech. And many jobs require a uniform, maybe if you gat a little more rank in the reserve you'd feel better about wearing the uniform?
Civil10  
#7 Posted : Thursday, September 13, 2007 9:45:01 PM(UTC)
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Good point, and true. But they should of did it from day one. And you missed the point, you talk about rank, I work at an associate wing. So now my manual working days are over, I now get to tell the active duty to get to work. So don't you see, I will wear the uniform, but only for show.

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 14, 2007 at 09:19 PM.]
ILDOD  
#8 Posted : Saturday, September 15, 2007 12:13:41 AM(UTC)
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I was an Air National Guard civilian technician in the mid eighties; I was a GS11 civil servant but had to wear a military uniform. The Guard facility was located on a Navy base so as a civilian I still had to salute Navy officers when I ran in to them, it was a little strange. Also the uniforms were very unattractive back then so I would have preferred to wear civilian clothes. More or less I felt like I was still in the military but with better pay and worse benefits. The good thing was that it was a real GS11 job so after about a year I was able to apply for and get a GS12 job with DOD. So starting as an Air technician was a great stepping-stone in to a long civil service career. I will be retiring in 9 day!
steven_gldmn  
#9 Posted : Saturday, September 15, 2007 3:13:50 AM(UTC)
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Can not ARTS also stand for Army Reserve TechnicianS? By the way, if you have to wear a uniform all the time, are the diffferences between civilian technicians, military technicians and active guard/reserve members being changed too? Please explain further if you can. Are all of these changes being made just in your unit/area or nationwide? Why are these changes being made? More background information please.
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Civil10  
#10 Posted : Sunday, September 16, 2007 10:48:07 PM(UTC)
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I got it, I think, buck-did not understand, nursee-is stuck on ego, Razzand ildod-wants me to use the ARTs to get in and and then get out quickly, got it.
lucabrasi  
#11 Posted : Monday, September 17, 2007 12:29:42 AM(UTC)
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A little background on the ART program is in order.

ART's are federal employees. A condition of that employment is that they maintain membership in the Air Force Reserve. Since the program was initiated back in 1958, it has never been a condition of employment that ART's wear a military uniform on civil service time. Some ART's do wear uniforms during civil service hours at the "suggestion" of senior leadership. These are generally ART officers and very senior enlisted (superintendents mostly)

The overwhelming majority of ART's wage grade employees who are aircraft mechanics. We keep the airplanes flying Monday through Friday and our weekend (reserve)role is to train and manage our Traditional Reserve folks (TR's).

Along with our civil service, we are required to maintain membership in the AF Reserve. Although we work in the same shops regardless of our status, our role changes. As an example, I am a WG-10 aircraft mechanic. My military grade is E-7 (MSgt). Monday through Friday, I work with 2 other WG-10's. Their military ranks are E-5 and E-6. Civil service regs prohibit WG-10's from being supervisors, so the detail is rotated. In this scenario, I will have to take direction from a fellow worker who has 2 stripe less than I do.

Another more serious problem will be for folks at what are called "associate units". This is where ART's work along side active duty. Generally in active duty maintenance units, an E-6 or even an E-5 will be a shift supervisor. Does this also mean that the E-5 will now give direction and orders to a member wearing a uniform that indicates E-7 rank? Yes, it does.

There is more to this issue than just the uniform. For decades, ART's have been denied re-enlistment bonuses simply because they are ART's. I have personally missed out on over 15k in bonises in the last 20 years. We were promised Tri-Care reserve select for medical insurance after our 2 year activation ended in March of 2005. Many ART's took advantage of this plan in favor of the expensive and dismal choices offered by FEHB. This benefit is being taken away also, because we are ART's. TR's are eligable for TriCare and the bonus program. ART's are not. Now, we are being forced to wear MILITARY uniforms, while performing in our CIVILIAN jobs.The added costs (haircuts, daily shaving, uniform laundering etc...) are not being reimbursed.

The reasons given by AFRC are weak at best. They go to "good order and discipline" and so on. Here is a link to the original story:
web page

There is also an online petition that contains the signatures of over 2500 ART's who are against this and their reasons for being against it.


Petition

If it's happening to ART's, there is NOTHING to prevent it from happening to all AF civil service personnel in the future. If you think I'm kidding, I never thought this would happen to ART's either.
Civil10  
#12 Posted : Monday, September 17, 2007 3:46:56 AM(UTC)
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Ohhh, this must be the many many perks, nursee is talking about.

And what happens if an Active Duty Member gets out of line when were in uniform????????????

Soooooooooo, why are we going to wear the uniform, again GEN??????????????

Also, read the web page, makes me want to work harder allready.

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 17, 2007 at 03:18 PM.]
martyb  
#13 Posted : Monday, September 17, 2007 8:35:58 AM(UTC)
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I've been an ART almost 26 years, right after I got off active duty in 1981. I'm a WG-11 on the civilian side, and an E-7 on the military side. As I pointed out to CMSgt McIntosh when he came to Barksdale AFB recently to break it off, uh I mean to break the news to us...I have no problem wearing my uniform when I'm in military status. I'm proud to be in the military. However, I'm equally proud of being a civilian employee. I told him that Civil Service is an honorable profession and that I am proud of my role as a civilian government employee. The response I received from that statement was basically an unintelligible load of hogwash. He did not even directly respond, except basically what has come to be the standard party line about "good order" yada yada as the poster above said. I sure would like to have about an hour to have a private one on one conversation with Gen. Bradley. Back when he was a Colonel and I was loading bombs on his fighter planes at Bergstrom AFB he seemed like a reasonable guy, even likeable and approachable. Now I think he's got his head stuck someplace, or else he's getting some poor feedback from his underlings about the depth of dissatisfaction that this issue is causing among his thousands of Air Reserve Technicians. With all that being said, I also agree with another poster above...you can always vote with your feet. There are jobs out there that are available, you just have to move. I personally have resumes in for 5 jobs as of today. Should it have to be this way? No, it shouldn't. Over my career I've seen many changes in the ART program, some good and others not so good. I am almost 100% sure this will bring about the eventual end of the ART program, at least as I've known it since 1981. My personal opinion is that's what the ultimate plan is, to bring an end to the fully dual-status program that we've enjoyed for so many years, the one that has been a huge benefit both financially and militarily for the taxpayer and the Air Force. I fully believe the intent is to change the ART force to a copy of the Air Guard, who don't fall under Title 10 of the US Code, but are Excepted Service employees (ARTs are regular Competitive Service, a fact which CMSgt McIntosh was clueless about when I brought that fact up, and still seemed not to understand when our conversation ended). It is intended that ARTs go away and are replaced by AGR positions. The writing's on the wall for that scenario, trust me. The other ART's who are posting on here know what I'm talking about. AGR's do receive pay based on civil service pay scales, but that's basically where the similarity ends. They have few to no rights when it comes to matters of discipline, retention and other issues. They are basically active duty military personnel who don't even get all of those benefits either, somewhere in limbo between the two. As ART's, we have historically been afforded pretty much the same status as most other civilian employees, but I think the Air Force is tired of that deal and wants us a bit more under "control". Having said all of that, I am very proud of my long career as an Air Reserve Technician and as an Air Force reservist too, and wouldn't go back and change too much, well....maybe the BRACCing we took back in '96, but other than that, it's been a pretty good ride. I just hate to see what I believe the future of the great ART program is going to be. General Bradley and his folks have somehow pushed aside federal laws and simply re-written some Air Force regulations, and apparently nobody, unions included, is going to intervene. Postalwiz, if you're reading this, yeah, you found my weak spot! lol
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steven_gldmn  
#14 Posted : Monday, September 17, 2007 9:26:13 AM(UTC)
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Based on a number of the comments above, am I correct that ARTS was meant to refer only to Air Reserve Technicians? I know that there are or were (at least at some time in the past) a program for Army Reserve Technicians. They also were full-time civil service employees who were also required to be members of the Army Reserve to maintain their employment. Does that program still exist? Have the Army techs all been replaced by AGR type personnel in Army Reserve units? These units also had people called military technicians. Do those positions still exist? If anyone can provide info. about the history and current status of these various types of positions with reserve units, please post an explanation.
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martyb  
#15 Posted : Monday, September 17, 2007 10:13:19 AM(UTC)
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While I have seen the term Army Reserve Technician mentioned in a couple of places here and there, I think the Army uses Military Technician for the most part. I think it's the same thing, but since I'm an Air Force guy, I'm not 100% sure. I think that 9 out of 10 times you'd be talking about an Air Reserve Technician if you were talking about an ART. It's a large program that's been around since 1958 (year I was born). It's been very popular, and not all that easy to get into in the past. Unfortunately, I'm expecting to see the Air Force start to have trouble filling the slots with experienced personnel due in part to the uniform issue, as well as some other irritants that seem to keep piling up. Most folks would just as soon stay on active duty where they will have all of the benefits plus a much earlier retirement, if they're going to be expected to play by most if not all of the military rules, including wearing a uniform. It may sound trivial to those outside the ART world, but believe me, it's causing a huge upheaval within the AF Reserve forces ranks. Many people do not realize that MORE THAN 1/2 of all America's military forces are in the Guard and Reserve. The ART program has been extremely successful as well as cost-effective. How smart is it to mess with it? The reserve forces are vastly more experienced and know very well how to do more with less. During all of the '80s, my AF reserve unit along with others and Guard units used to compete against active duty fighter units around the country in a test of combat skills involving dropping weapons on targets, aircraft maintenance and weapons loading. In every competition I know of during that time, a Reserve or Guard unit won. Eventually, active duty decided they didn't want to "play" with us anymore, that we needed to have our own competition between ourselves, and let active duty compete amongst themselves as well. They got tired of the embarassment of having a bunc of "old guys" whup up on them LOL! Ahhh...I miss the good ol' days!
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URB  
#16 Posted : Monday, September 17, 2007 11:50:11 AM(UTC)
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This is in response to Lt Gen Bradley’s comments in the Air Force Times, dated 09/06/2007, Subject: “Unhappy ARTs at least will get uniforms free.”

Lt. Gen Bradley is obviously missing the point. The issue is not about who is paying for the uniforms; it is foremost about the violation of our civil rights. Whether we receive the same amount of uniforms is only one of many issues concerning this new mandate, but the bottom line is that we are NOT active duty, we ARE civilians.

The only time that Reservists are legally required to wear the uniform is, when they perform military duty one weekend a month, 15 days a year OR when they are activated. We proudly wear the uniform when in military status, but ordering civilians to wear the military uniform, while performing duty in civilian status is in direct violation of Title 5 of the U.S. Code, Title 10 of the U.S. Code and Labor Management Agreements across America and by mandating the wear of the uniform Lt Gen Bradley demonstrates his total disregard for the Law, Congress and the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).

Because Lt Gen Bradley wants all of us to “Look Alike,” his ART civilian workforce is now parading as Combatants, Combatants without the proper authority. This dress-up, or window dressing as we call it cost the taxpayer, by the Command’s own admission, initially up to $2,000.000.00. If this is not FRAUD, WASTE, and ABUSE, then what is? Taxpayers across the country should be outraged.

I am seriously questioning the Command’s decision making process; because with all the war efforts going on across the globe, their number one priority is to put civilians in a military uniform. This mandate is responsible for the discontent amongst civilians who have faithfully served this country in a dual capacity since 1958. Many of us had voluntarily served on Active Duty, left Active Duty for various reasons and again voluntarily joined the Air Force Reserve and ART program, but this is obviously not enough for the Command, we are now “illegally being drafted” as civilians, just so Lt Gen Bradley can project a “Total Force Image.” I am sure that there are more pressing issues in the military then making civilians look like active duty when they are not. Instead of playing dress-up, the Command should use these extra monies to further protect our troops on the front or to assist soldiers who return wounded.

Lt Gen Bradley stated that he believes we all have a better future in the Air Force if we wear uniforms. What exactly does this mean? What does the wearing of the uniform has to do with our future in the Air Force? We are still civilians, who are not authorized to engage in combat. If Lt Gen Bradley is really concerned about the future, he needs to think about that prior to the issuance of this illegal mandate, ARTs have volunteered for AEFs and other missions, but now, ARTs across America have voiced their discontent and stated that the Command can no longer count on their volunteerism. ARTs will leave the ART program by either retiring or looking for a straight civilian position and they will take with them years of valuable experience.
martyb  
#17 Posted : Monday, September 17, 2007 7:38:41 PM(UTC)
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Very well said. Can anybody explain to me where the unions, ie. AFGE, NFFE have been while this was going on?
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Civil10  
#18 Posted : Monday, September 17, 2007 9:48:37 PM(UTC)
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From what I heard, the General had an incident where some civilians were standing around and they did'nt show him the proper respect. So because of a few dumb civs, we will all pay the price (you did'nt think he just came up with the idea, something had to of happened). When I see are Commander, even as a civ, I still stand up shake hands or salute, they do deserve respect. Union help us if you can, or don't collect are dues. Also, is there any way to get this post out, to the people who can possibly help??????

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 18, 2007 at 09:02 AM.]

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 18, 2007 at 09:03 AM.]

[This message was edited by Civil10 on September 18, 2007 at 10:00 AM.]
lucabrasi  
#19 Posted : Monday, September 17, 2007 11:05:59 PM(UTC)
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quote:
Originally posted by martyb:
Very well said. Can anybody explain to me where the unions, ie. AFGE, NFFE have been while this was going on?


Asleep at the switch I presume. Our local NEVER said a word to us about this until AFTER the IC's that changed the three regs were posted. To this day, the only thing we are hearing is "we're working on it".

I believe the nationals are going to let this one go. This is a minor concession (only affects about 8k people), and can be used as leverage against NSPS or some other issue.
Civil10  
#20 Posted : Tuesday, September 18, 2007 12:44:13 AM(UTC)
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Everyone, see hows this plays out, and if not in our favor, GET OUT of the UNION.
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