News>Commentary - Bullet writing class takes Airmen back to basics
A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron is instructed on bullet writing, July 23, 2012, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. A bullet writing seminar was recently taught by Senior Master Sgt. Frank Graziano, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment and distribution flight superintendent. The class offered Airmen instruction on the six steps of bullet writing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dorothy M. Driscoll/Released)
U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Frank Graziano, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron deployment and distribution flight superintendent, speaks to Airmen at a bullet writing seminar, July 17, 2012. Graziano passed on knowledge of bullet writing, and instructed 116 Team Shaw members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dorothy M. Driscoll/Released)
Commentary by Staff Sgt. Dorothy Driscoll
20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron
7/24/2012 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- As a young Staff Sgt. I was eager to attend the bullet writing class recently offered here and led by Senior Master Sgt. Frank Graziano, 20th Logistics Readiness Squadrons Distribution Flight Superintendent.
More than 116 members of all ranks, Enlisted and Officers, gathered for two separate classes in which Graziano graciously gave us award winning information.
"All right everyone stand up, first row come up, you can pick two." Graziano said to the audience as he held a bag of pixie sticks. All the rows shuffled through and after the last row went back to their seats he said, "Alright everyone stand back up, this time you can't look and pick one."
The rows all wandered up and picked a pack of pop rocks blindly. Next he wandered the room tossing ring pops to a select few in the crowd.
After, he told us that these candies served two purposes first was to show how the Enlisted Performance Report or EPR system works. He told us that the pixie sticks represented how it should work, you should know exactly what you are getting, he explained.
The pop rocks are to represent how it shouldn't work, you should never be blindsided by your rating, he continued.
Finally the ring pops are an example of how some peoples EPRs get a little extra then others, and how that effects the masses.
Graziano has been in the Air Force for 18 years, he is a Vehicle Operator by trade however he spent over three years as a Professional Military Education (PME) instructor and first sergeant so needless to say his experience with bullet writing is vast.
During the class Graziano gave us insight to the six steps of bullet writing, gathering facts, quantifying results, write it down, trim the fat, edit and correct bullet punctuation.
He highlighted several points such as having our Airmen send us weekly updates of what they have done.
He also stressed the importance of making sure that as a supervisor we are constantly giving feedback, he explained that we need to sit down with our Airman and do formal initial and mid-term feedbacks but ensure that we are guiding them, and keeping them on track along the way.
Furthermore he explained the importance of capturing the whole person and everything they accomplish during a rating period.
In addition to that quantifying results was a hard-hitting point he continued to make through out the class.
Though he touched on several topics the point that Graziano emphasized the hardest was that we have to take care of our Airman.
After the seminar was over I left with a new sense of pride and returned to my work center ready to put my new skills to the test.
I hope that I can be apart of, as Graziano put it "Paying it forward" and can continue the tradition of modeling, guiding and looking out for my Airmen, because at the end of the day they truly are what keeps the mission going.