The USAF, like anything else in life, isn't perfect, but it is a wonderful organization. Lots of nice folks, and above all, HIGH STANDARDS for rank - they call nikkyu what other orgs call shodan.
Of course. And most other organisations would claim something similar. Have you ever heard any organisation say the reverse - "You know that organisation XYZ? Their nikkyu would be shodan in our club because our standards are much lower!"
I bet your shodans would be nikkyu in my organisation, and my shodans would be nikkyu in yours.
How to get the beginners mind set - keep changing organisations and get downgraded at least 2 grades every time. Before you know it you are no-kyu again