Commentary

March 29, 2013

Promotion wisdom comes from retired chief

Pg-6-Daniels--photo
In my 40-plus years serving on both active duty and working as an Air Force civilian, one question seems to surface each time the promotion list is released. What does it take to get promoted? The question applies to our newest Airmen, NCOs and our senior NCOs.

Although each Airman’s experiences differ, I believe to get promoted you must become indispensable to your work center, squadron, group and wing. How does one become indispensable? There is no ironclad formula; however, please consider the following examples.

A new Airman completing his or her career development course and being upgraded makes them indispensable. A staff sergeant completing his or her Community College of the Air Force degree and then becoming an Air Education and Training Command instructor makes him or her indispensable. A master sergeant asked to become flight chief while waiting on the opportunity to become a production superintendent makes him or her indispensible.

The previous examples describe initiative and leaders at all stages of your career understand that initiative demonstrates potential and the Air Force promotes Airmen based on their potential.

So you are on your way to being indispensible. Is there anything else you could be doing? One misconception that many airmen believe is that one can’t get promoted on the first attempt. I can give you numerous examples of airmen being promoted the first time eligible. Does studying for promotion require sacrifice? Sure it does! My first attempt at staff sergeant failed because I did not study. I never made that mistake again.

What happens if you put in a super human promotion effort and still aren’t promoted? Can you become discouraged? Sure, but I would remind you that sometimes there are factors beyond your control such as a smaller AF-wide selection rate. Yet it’s been my experience that leaders are aware of your efforts and although not promoted still see your potential and give you additional opportunities to excel. These opportunities have a direct affect on your next performance rating and will help build a solid record for future promotion boards.

Additionally, Airmen should be seeking opportunities to advance their education. Of course it begins with completing your CCAF degree. Why a CCAF? When I was selected for promotion to senior master sergeant, 40 percent of my competitors did not have their CCAF degree. Not surprisingly, the notes from the promotion board were clear; they were looking for a degree that enhances the NCOs potential to serve in the next higher grade.

There will also be times in your career the Air Force is going to provide you with additional education, whether technical training or professional military education. Take full advantage of these opportunities. The key is to be indispensible as you never know when someone opts out of training and they need a volunteer to fill the void — be that volunteer.

Finally, would I have done anything different to get promoted? Other than my preparation for staff sergeant, the answer is no. I didn’t worry that I had the right job for promotion; I just did my best at whatever job was given to me. By being indispensible the great jobs, the ones that test your metal and stretch your reach, will come to you.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Tech. Sgt. Timothy Boyer

Construction plan supports F-35 program

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Boyer An Australian F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter prepares to launch Aug. 25 at Luke Air Force Base. Luke is scheduled to have 144 F-35s by 2024 with 11 countries training pilots and maintainers here...
 
 
frana_g

The Psychology of Leadership

Lt. Col. Gregory Frana When given the opportunity to lead, how do great leaders ensure people want to follow them? In the military it is sometimes the case that followers simply have to follow, but what makes people “want” ...
 
 

Refuse to fear change

Are you afraid of change? Most people are. Every day we experience change in our lives, and we certainly can’t hide from it. We learn and grow from changes; that’s what makes the world go around. With all of the Air Force and day-to-day life changes, learning to deal with change must be one of...
 

 
3_150818-F-LC301-007

Munition flight’s isolation strengthens unit

Senior Airman Christopher Bolling, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Munitions Flight precision guided missiles bay chief, and Eddie Hutton, 56th EMS Munitions Flight crew member, work on an air-to-air missile. The munitions ...
 
 

IN BRIEF

Stand up for vets The 3rd Annual Stand Up For Veterans event is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Glendale Community College Student Union. There will be employment opportunities, social services, legal services, free hair cuts for veterans, free lunch for vets and their families, and more. Vets can apply for healthcare and...
 
 
4_150810-F-LC301-003

Reservist lends hand

Master Sgt. Steven Joubert, 944th Detachment 1, is the first Air Reserve aircrew chief to hold a position within the 309th Aircraft Maintenance Unit since 2007 when the 944th Fighter Wing underwent changes in the base realignme...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>