Commentary

March 24, 2012

To be continued…

Chief Master Sgt. Steve K. McDonald
2011-AF-logo

WASHINGTON (AFNS) “” I have to admit I became a big fan of the television series “Lost” when a friend gave me past episodes on DVD that I watched while I was deployed.

After returning home, I watched the show without fail each week. One of the most frustrating things about following the series was being totally engrossed and losing track of time only to be brought to reality when the screen went blank and the words “To Be Continued …” appeared. You didn’t want the story to end; it was a disappointment. Wouldn’t it be nice if the show could go on forever? But, as the adage says, “All good things must come to an end.”

But is this adage an absolute truth? Since I began working in force development, I have come to learn that there are two things that should never come to an end: your personal and professional development. The concept of force development is extremely important in the Air Force. Developing and caring for Airmen has been one of the service’s stated priorities for many years.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy has spent the past three years espousing a philosophy of deliberately developing Airmen, as reflected in many of the Air Force’s policies and processes.

Within the world of doctrine and policy, force development is centered on the Continuum of Learning — a career-long process of individual development which connects education and training opportunities to assignment and deployment experiences.

In simpler terms, the Continuum of Learning consists of education, training and experience. For enlisted Airmen, this starts in basic military training and continues through initial skills training and into the first duty assignment.

Over the next four or 20 or 30 years, those same Airmen will continue their education and training from the Air Force by way of numerous assignments and deployment experiences. They will encounter people along the way and learn things about the service and themselves. Much of this will be deliberate in order to develop them both personally and professionally for future leadership roles in the Air Force.

But if we only focused on the resources employed by the Air Force, even force development would “come to an end.” That is why it is just as important to take a personal role in your own development. As many of you are aware, the Air Force chief of staff releases an annual reading list. Upon release of this year’s list, Daniel Sitterly, the director of force development under the deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, suggested that the Continuum of Learning should now consist of education, training, experience and reading. His point was valid.

I believe the point is that the Air Force does a good job investing in the development of individuals but we may not have done a very good job in getting people to invest in themselves.

There are many ways people can further their own development. Where the Air Force provides professional military education, individuals can pursue civilian educational opportunities. Where the Air Force provides upgrade skill training, individuals can read books and use computer-based training to enhance current skills or learn new skills. In addition to Air Force assignment and deployment experiences, Airmen can join professional organizations and take on leadership roles.

It goes without saying that the Air Force will continue to invest in the personal and professional development of its people. But with added emphasis and a commitment from individuals to invest in themselves, force development can reach new levels.

That’s the good thing about personal and professional development — they truly are designed “to be continued.”




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

LVC integration takes Red Flag to next level

U.S. Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler Airmen participate in the live, virtual, constructive portion of Red Flag 15-2 at the Combined Operations Center-Nellis on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., March 5. Red Fla...
 
 

99th MDG wins Air Force level awards

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Two clinics and an Airman with the 99th Medical Group were the recipients of three 2014 Air Force Medical Service annual awards. The 99th Dental Squadron was named the Large Dental Clinic of the Year, the 99th MDG’s Patient Safety Program was named the Best Inpatient Facility Patient Safety...
 
 

Financial readiness equals mission readiness

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — As a long-time military spouse, I have held various jobs — and I know many of you can relate. I served as a military and family life counselor at an Airman and Family Readiness Center and had the privilege of working with fellow military families to create budgets, develop...
 

 

Red light special

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — So there I was in my early ‘90s sedan. I was sitting at the red light directly outside of the base driving towards West Craig to start my commute home after a long day of work. The very moment the light turned green, I noticed oncoming traffic didn’t stop....
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

Nellis Airman earns AFMS annual award

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Staff Sgt. Danielle Thinnes poses next to a plethysmograph, also known as a body box, which performs various breathing tests for patients at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal ...
 
 

40 Nellis, Creech Airmen selected for promotion

The following master sergeants at Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases, Nevada, have been selected for promotion to senior master sergeant: James W. Andrews Raymond T. Artis Jr. Shane R. Baker Jamie E. Beam Guenther Bogensperger Shawn M. Bowman Michael P. Butler Noe Chavez Felix Cruz III Michael S. Culver Travis A. Eberly Kenneth J....
 




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