[quote="SeannyM, post:12, topic:337164"]
Sure... the military times is where I read it... it says in the article that he was the training squadron first sergeant... which is the senior enlisted, who would be placed in a supervisory role over all the instructors by virtue of his position.
I can appreciate why you would answer the way you did, but you are wrong on a couple of points (keep in mind that I am answering as an AF SNCO retiree and one who has done the "first shirt" job before).
First of all, the First Sergeant is not the highest ranking enlisted person in the unit. In the AF, First Sergeant is a "special duty indicator" (sort of the equivalent to an Air Force Specialty Code -- the equivalent to a Army MOS). The job of the first sergeant is to advise the unit commander of matters involving the enlisted personnel in a unit as well as to communicate the commander's policies to the enlisted force. A key characteristic of the first sergeant job is that he/she is not in the chain of command. That is true whether you are talking about a fighter squadron, a communications squadron, or, as is the case here, the 326th Training Squadron at Lackland AFB.
Because of this the first sergeant would have only been responsible to advise the commander on the issue and give a recommendation. It would have been, typically, the Staff Sergeant's immediate supervisor who would have issued the discipline (in this case, the letter of counseling). The only times that I ever issued counseling or reprimands to enlisted people would have been for "general" morale and discipline areas: for example, if a enlisted person wrote a bad check, pulling an enlisted person out of jail after being caught DUI, issues in the barracks, and so on. I would never get involved in discipline that involved on the job issues. When I have done first sergeant duty, I knew that I was barely tolerated within the work center (and, when I was running a work center, I barely tolerated the unit first sergeant snooping around my work center).
In this case, a Staff Sergeant (chances are, a Training Instructor: the AF equivalent to a DI) was expressing his personal opinions to a bunch of basic trainees. SMSgt Monk was suggesting that it be used as a learning experience for the SSgt (perhaps a verbal counseling given by the SSgt's immediate supervisor). The commander wanted the SSgt nailed to the wall (an Article 15 or a Letter of Reprimand).
Believe it or not, I actually agree with the commander's judgment of how the SSgt should have been disciplined. Because of the extreme influence the Air Force Training Instructors have on their basic trainees, their personal opinions one way or the other on any issue should be kept strictly to themselves and have ABSOLUTELY no business being discussed with basic trainees.
Having said that, given the information in the EWTN article and the Military Times article, I do not agree with the commander's actions regarding her (now former) first sergeant. Those actions were capricious.