Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story.
To ensure senior airmen selected for promotion to staff sergeant do not meet the enlisted retention board, the Air Force will move the testing window up from May 1 through June 15 to April 1 through May 16, Air Force Personnel Center officials recently said.
“We have assured Airmen selected for promotion they will not meet the ERB,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael McGuirt, of AFPC enlisted promotions. “Moving the testing window up will allow individuals to test and allow us time to process scores, run selects before the ERB board begins and remove selects from the ERB eligible list.”
Changing the testing window for the promotion cycle could prevent as many as 10,000 records from being unnecessarily reviewed by the ERB, McGuirt said.
“We’ve coordinated with all the affected organizations to ensure study references are available and test booklets will be printed and delivered to testing locations in time for the April 1 start date,” he said.
The enlisted retention program is one of several fiscal 2014 expanded force management programs that have been or will be implemented this year, said Lt. Col. Rick Garcia, the AFPC retirements and separations branch chief.
“I really believe if you are an Air Force and you recruit the best people in the country, which we do, and you train them better than anyone else and you put them with people who make them proud of what they do, how well they do it and what they represent, then you get a performance you can never get any other way,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III. “The formula is simple, people plus pride equals performance.”
The general and his wife, Betty, visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord Jan. 31 to Feb. 4 to thank Airmen and their families for their service and address current Air Force challenges.
“It is really helpful for us to get out and see what you are all doing and how you are doing it – to talk to the Airmen and to get an idea of what concerns you have,” Welsh said.
During their visit, they learned about Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s joint basing structure and the collaboration with Army service members, the total force partnerships, the prime nuclear airlift force, and the base’s continuing effort to ensure a culture of dignity and respect.
An up-to-date family care plan can help to ease stress and boost family resilience and readiness during a service member’s absence.
Family care plans are instructions developed by service members to identify caregivers who have agreed to take care of family members during the sponsor’s absence.
“One of the most important considerations of family readiness is to ensure families are taken care of when military obligations require Airmen to be away from home for training, mobilization or deployment,” said Staff Sgt. Jodie Vahle, a personnel specialist with the Air Force Personnel Center’s special programs branch.”
Although all Airmen with family members are encouraged to develop a family care plan, only single military parents, dual military couples with family members and military members with civilian spouses who have unique family situations are required to develop written plans.
“These plans are maintained by the commander or first sergeant,” Vahle said. “Civilian Airmen and contractors in emergency essential positions are also strongly encouraged to establish family care plans.”
Reading a book is a reward in and of itself, but that does not always persuade children to read. To help promote literacy, the Air Force Personnel Center is sponsoring an incentive reading program until March 7.
The One Page at a Time program is open to youth ages 5 through 13 years, who are eligible to use force support squadron facilities. This program is designed to drive youths to read books, document their literary accomplishments, and earn incentives for each level of their literary successes.
“We want to establish a lifetime desire to read with this program,” said Sally Petergal, an Air Force Personnel Center child and youth specialist. “We view literacy as being very important and with this program we open the door for children to develop better reading skills. Even though the program is at the halfway mark, families can still sign up for the program.”
To participate, families should visit their installation’s youth programs or library.