JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Selection for 10 special duty fields is now a nominative rather than volunteer-based process, Air Force officials announced today.
In the past, any qualified Airman who met eligibility criteria defined in the special duty catalog could apply for a special duty opportunity. However, as resources become scarcer, Air Force leaders feel it is increasingly important to deliberately place the most qualified Airmen in several key roles which have an impact on Airmen across the service.
The Air Force formed a cross-functional working group to examine all special duty programs and selection criteria. The group determined that for certain special duties, a more deliberate eligibility and selection process could help maintain manning levels in those positions as well as open a leadership development path for promising enlisted members, said Chief Master Sgt. Steve Nichols, the Air Force enlisted force policy branch chief. The selected special duties are those that create, develop and care for Airmen. In addition some of these selected special duties represent the Air Force enlisted corps on a national stage.
“The identified positions are inherently stressful and demanding, and our volunteers have done an exceptional job over the years – I am confident the vast majority would be nominated under the new process,” Nichols said. “This change allows us to ensure that we are systematically preparing the best of the best to assume their place as tomorrow’s leaders.”
Selected because of their unique leadership roles and the responsibility to mentor and mold young Airmen, the following duties are now developmental opportunities: career assistance adviser, military training instructor, military training leader, U.S. Air Force Academy military training NCO, Airman and Family Readiness Center NCO, first sergeant, USAF Honor Guard NCO, enlisted accessions recruiter and professional military education instructor. In addition, Air Force specialty training instructors identified with a “T” prefix will be developmental special duties.
“The special duties identified are leadership positions with broad impact on Airmen, families and the future of the Air Force,” Nichols said. “Nominees must be capable of and committed to developing and caring for the Airmen in their charge.”
Commanders will nominate their best performers for developmental special duty positions, and personnel teams will work with career field leaders to ensure the right people in the right numbers are selected, Nichols said.
Major commands are tasked with specific numbers for each special duty, so no one command or career field will be overtaxed, he added.
“Nomination for a developmental duty assignment is the commander’s vote of confidence in an Airman – a statement of belief in an Airman’s character, skill and integrity,” Nichols said.
Not all special duty assignments have been designated as developmental, Nichols said. Airmen interested in broadening opportunities can still go to the Equal Plus website and browse, or review the special duty catalog on the myPers website.
For more information about career development opportunities and other personnel issues, go to myPers at https://mypers.af.mil.