Commentary

November 15, 2013

Developmental special duty: Are you ready to answer call?

Senior Master Sgt. LEROY RIDGEL
56th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Recently, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody introduced an initiative referred to as “development special duty” that will enhance how we currently develop our enlisted force. Commanders will nominate their best performers to serve in select special duty positions to ensure, as the chief states, “we have the right enlisted Airmen in the right special duties both inside and outside their primary career fields.”

As Airmen, we are the technical experts. This is a fact that has been proven throughout history from the incredible show of humanitarian assistance operations during the Berlin Airlift to the perilous, clandestine missions carried out by our special operation forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. For decades, senior leaders at all levels have continuously praised our execution of the Air Force mission. We do it with a level of dedication, excellence and commitment seen in no other organization because much of our career is spent polishing those skills required to perform in our respective specialties. Now the time has come to expand our vision from what we do at the tactical level to a broader, strategic focus. We have been challenged to key in on a specific yet critical concept that has enabled us to achieve and maintain our status as the world’s premiere fighting force developing Airmen.

As a former NCO Academy instructor, it quickly became apparent the level of influence professional military education has on our enlisted force. I enjoyed the privilege and responsibility of sharpening the leadership and management skills of future senior enlisted Airmen. Additionally, reinforcing our profession of arms and challenging middle managers to not only meet, but exceed, the Air Force’s physical fitness standards, made every waking day of that four-year tour one of the best decisions of my Air Force career.

In the past, many Airmen hesitated to volunteer for a special duty position based on concerns such as potentially long duty hours or fear of leaving the comfort zone of their primary Air Force specialty to learn a new discipline. Additionally, the rumor of delayed or slowed promotions seems to be the most prevalent of concerns across the spectrum.

Fortunately, those rumors have no merit. The knowledge and experience gained by serving in a special duty not only enhances your skills as a military professional, leader and manager but reaches beyond your career field to impact Airmen serving in specialties Air Force wide. Quickly earning the next stripe should never be the sole reason for or against a decision to serve in a special duty; Airmen who are truly dedicated and embody the core values of integrity, service and excellence will be rewarded both within that special duty and upon return to their career field.

In his closing commentary, Cody said, “a nomination to a developmental special duty is an honor — it expresses a commander’s confidence in an Airman. At the same time, it ensures our very best Airmen are in a position to deliberately develop our enlisted force and will return these Airmen to their career fields with greater experience under their belt.”

The time has come for us to step out of the shadows of our primary AFSCs to serve in those special duties such as enlisted professional military education instructor, military training instructor, Air Force recruiter, first sergeant or any other positions that are demanding our best and brightest. The call for nominations has been placed and leadership will be taking a hard look at those Airmen they feel will excel in these extremely competitive but rewarding positions.

This will sometimes be a very tough decision but if selected, will you be ready to answer that call?




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


 
 

 

My personal leadership philosophy

My personal leadership philosophy can be summed up in just a few words — people first, mission always. Some may mistake the phrase “people first, mission always” as a dictum to coddle unit personnel through adversity, but actually, my focus is on preparing them to overcome adversity. The mission will always press on, but without...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

“Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life and job. Some common...
 
 
Staff Sgt. 
TIMOTHY BOYER

Luke plays role in saving species

Staff Sgt.TIMOTHY BOYER A team of wildlife specialists prepare a Sonoran pronghorn for release into the wild at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Ajo. Sixty-nine pronghorn were captured this year. Of those, more tha...
 

 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Road closure Litchfield Road at Northern Parkway is closed daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sunday to paint the bridge overpass, weather permitting. Northern Parkway will remain open. Reems Road and Dysart Road are alternate routes. For more information, call MCDOT at 480-350-9288. MLK luncheon There will be a Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon...
 
 
Senior Airman 
JAMES HENSLEY

MWD Roy — partner, friend passes

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Scott Emmick, 56th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog handler, and Roy, 56th SFS MWD, play Dec. 14, 2012, at the at Luke Air Force Base kennels. The MWD and handler team plays to...
 
 

46 graduate ALS in class 15-1

The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership School graduated 45 senior airmen and one staff sergeant Dec. 11 from class 15-1. The graduates are senior airmen unless otherwise noted. John L. Levitow award: Nathaniel Gladney, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Distinguished graduates: Matthew Goodspeed, 56th Operations Support Squadron; Russell Hires, 56th Medical Support Squadron; James Gilmore, 56t...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin