March 20, 2015

Increase your sphere of influence

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Strang
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — In his November 2013 Roll Call, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody said that a nomination to a developmental special duty is an honor and expresses the faith and confidence leadership has in an Airman to purposefully shape our future.

Earlier in 2013, 10 special duty positions were designated as DSDs due to their unique leadership roles and the Airman’s responsibility to mentor and mold future leaders.

The list of DSD positions include: T-prefix technical training instructor, career assistance advisor, military training instructor, military training leader, U.S. Air Force Academy military training, Airman and Family Readiness Center non-commissioned officer, first sergeant, U.S. Air Force honor guard NCO positions, recruiter and professional military education instructor.

Unlike previous years, the DSD positions will be filled by Airmen selected by their leadership instead of volunteering through the Assignment Management System.

“Members cannot simply go out and apply for an EQUAL Plus job anymore,” said Staff Sgt. Kristal Baudier, Air Force Personnel Center Special Duty Assignments NCO. “Now they have to be nominated by their respective commanders to fill these critical positions.”

Chief Master Sgt. Gerardo Tapia, command chief of Air Education and Training Command, said that these positions require the sharpest Airmen as they are not just for bettering AETC but the Air Force as a whole.

“In the past we relied on volunteers to fill these positions,” said Tapia. “We should be vetting our best people. Airmen filling these slots are force multipliers, and we should be pushing our best people forward into these positions.”

Tapia said that much like the master sergeant promotion board changes, the DSD process is also a change coming to fruition that drives the Air Force to produce better, more well-rounded NCOs.

“Airmen need to see that DSDs increase their sphere of influence,” said Tapia. “Developmental special duties and the future of our Air Force go hand-in-hand in the development of future leaders. These positions help Airmen embody the core values as well as help them in their career progression.”

Since these positions are filled by a nominative process, Tapia said Airmen who are interested in filling a position need to keep open communication channels with their leadership.

“Airmen need to talk to their supervisors and leadership and express their interest in a DSD position,” said Tapia. “These positions are perfect for Airmen who want a challenge or a change of pace. Get outside your comfort zone and look for opportunities.”

Tapia said the DSD process is constantly being refined and AETC must live up to its name as the First Command.

“From MTIs and tech school instructors to recruiters and MTLs, AETC owns about 80-85 percent of DSDs,” Tapia said. “Our command is taking a very active approach to the DSD process. We must be the example for other commands. We have to set the tone and get it right.”

According to Baudier, Airmen interested in finding out more information on DSDs should search for DSD on their myPers website located on the Air Force Portal.

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