Commentary

June 22, 2012

Promotion is in your hands

By Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — It is up to you to get promoted, Senior Master Sgt. Jeff Noxon, Air Force Personnel Center enlisted promotions and testing superintendent, advises enlisted members.

The enlisted promotion system is based on several weighted factors, most of which are within the member’s control, he said. Those factors include time in service, time in grade, decorations, enlisted performance report ratings, the promotion fitness exam score, and the skills knowledge test score.

“Time is a factor in the promotion system – time in service and time in grade – so a lot of young Airmen think they can’t get promoted because they’re too junior, but that’s not necessarily the case,” said Noxon.

Time in service is worth 1/2 point per month (six points per year) and time in grade is worth 1/6 point per month (two points per year).

“That’s a pretty small number compared to 100 points possible for each of the tests, and test preparation is solely in the Airman’s hands,” Noxon said.

Performance reports are worth 135 points, maximum, and the maximum number of points possible for decorations is 25.

“Some people think that EPRs and decorations are subjective, or dependent on what your supervisor thinks you deserve,” Noxon said, “but the evaluation process has very clear criteria and checks and balances up and down the supervisory chain to help maintain process integrity. Ultimately, Airmen who work hard to develop their job and leadership skills are going to get the right evaluation. Whether or not you get promoted depends a lot on your determination and your work ethic,” Noxon said.

Even the first three promotions depend on the Airmen, although they may appear to be automatic.

“Yes, time is a factor and an airman basic or airman can’t get promoted early, but behavior counts,” he explained. “Being eligible doesn’t mean your commander will recommend you, so you have to work hard, learn your job, study the Air Force culture and behave in a way that tells your peers, supervisor and commander that you’re ready for more responsibility.”

That hard work could be the ticket to early promotions down the road.

An airman first class is eligible for promotion to senior airmen after 36 months time in service and 20 months time in grade or 28 months time in grade (whichever occurs first), Noxon said. However, they are eligible to be considered for below the zone promotion to senior airman 6 months before that time. So being prepared for that opportunity could set the pace for the rest of a member’s career.

“If you excel on duty, participate in off-duty programs, do well on your career development course exams and set the example as an Airman, you’re a good candidate for below-the-zone promotion,” Noxon said. “If selected, you could be eligible to test for staff sergeant when your peers are sewing on senior airman. That would put you a year ahead of others in the promotion process.”

Depending on how well an Airman does on the two promotion tests, that could be just the beginning.

Senior airmen must have 36 months time in service and six months time in grade to be eligible to test for staff sergeant. Staff sergeants must have 23 months time in grade to test for technical sergeant, and technical sergeants require 24 months in grade to test for master.

“It’s a challenge to do so because there are so many factors involved, but it’s possible for a sharp, fast-burner to make it to master in less than 10 years,” Noxon said. “Again, it’s in your hands.”

Although getting promoted is the Airman’s responsibility, Noxon reminds members that they are not alone in the process.

“Airmen can’t study together, but they can seek guidance and mentorship from senior noncommissioned officers,” Noxon said. “Testing is only part of the process, and long before an Airman can test, other factors are already in play. An Airman may have two performance reports before testing and opportunities to earn a decoration, so looking for a mentor to help guide you is important.”

Enlisted Airmen can positively – or negatively – impact every promotion opportunity. Those who aggressively pursue opportunities, find a mentor, and work hard are the ones who will be promoted.

“Any Airmen – you – can do that. You can be the fast burner, because your promotion is in your hands,” Noxon said.

For more information about Air Force promotion systems or personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.




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


 
 

 
police5

99th SFS honors fallen wingmen during National Police Week

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Airmen assigned to the 99th Security Forces Squadron participate in a 10K memorial ruck march for National Police Week at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 13. The march was one of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Dispelling remotely piloted aircraft myths

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III conducts an all-call with the men and women of the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Ba...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Yokota aircrew recounts Nepal earthquake

Courtesy photo Members of the U.S. Air Force view the damage in Nepal firsthand following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that damaged many parts of the country. KATHMANDU, Nepal— We were tasked with taking an 11-man...
 

 
EOD6

IEDs, UXOs no problem for EOD

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Carter Senior Airman Kalin Fuller, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal journeyman looks out from inside his bomb suit at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 13. Be...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Maintenance shop saves $9 Million through innovative process

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Curtis Klitzka, 547th Intelligence Squadron sheet metal painter, uses a drill to attach a roof to a golf cart at the Threat Training Facility Maintenance Shop on Nellis Air...
 
 
Golf2

Disabled veterans discover ‘Hope’ through golf program

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Participants in the Professional Golfers’ Association of America Hope Program practice their swing at the driving range on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 14. The PGA Ho...
 




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