JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Unit deployment manager is now a two-year-controlled special duty assignment; a change Air Force officials say will help professionalize the position and improve deployment program continuity.
In the past, the UDM retained his or her Air Force specialty code, and even though UDMs were working outside of their specialty, the position counted against the number of people a unit could have in that rank and career field.
“The result was a frequently unstable situation,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Holmquist, Air Force UDM and Logistics Plans career field manager. “UDMs could be, and often were, tasked for deployment themselves, which left the unit without a UDM. Commanders had to start the selection and training process again from scratch.”
As in the past, the UDM will still come from unit resources, and members will rotate from their functional flight/section to the UDM position. Once a UDM tour is complete, the Airman will be replaced by another member from the squadron.
“The noteworthy part is that a commander gets a dedicated UDM for two full years,” Holmquist said. “A commander gets great return on investment by retaining the Airman they invested time and money training, instead of potentially losing that Airman to a deployment six months into their tour.”
In addition, the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center is finishing work on an web-based training module that will be supplemented with some live instructor interaction, so UDMs will have the benefit of institutional information. The installation level curriculum will vary from base to base, though, to meet each installation’s unique process needs.
The new training program is in addition to the current installation deployment officer’s responsibilities to provide initial orientation for UDMs, Holmquist said.
Although classified as a special duty, Airmen interested in serving as the UDM don’t apply for the position online.
“UDMs are locally selected,” Holmquist said. “Airmen interested in serving should review the enlisted classification directory for the list of duties and responsibilities and communicate their interest through their chain of command.”
For more information about career opportunities and other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.