JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO–LACKLAND, Texas —
The military provides opportunities for not just military members, but also Department of Defense civilians to further develop professional, leadership and management skills.
Career assistance advisors facilitate these developments through a number of avenues such as career counseling, professional development courses and transition assistance.
“We’re charged with developing officers, enlisted and civilians across JBSA,” said Senior Master Sgt. Sarah Sullivan, 802nd Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor.
They offer a variety of professional development courses to prepare attendees for whatever is around the corner career-wise. The courses cover a range of topics like leadership skills, qualities of a team player, speaking and listening effectively, time management, increasing productive, resiliency and others. There are also career progression classes that cover how to retrain or commission.
Some course are tailored to specific groups such as officers, new airmen or NCOs. For example, CAA hosts the week long First Term Airman Course for Airmen arriving to their first duty station. FTAC focuses developing Airmen as next-generation leaders by building skills they were introduced to in basic military training and technical training along with providing information relevant to new Airmen.
“We’re teaching them a lot of information early in the airman stage instead of having to learn it years later when they’re expected to know,” said Master Sgt. Asim Siddiqui, 802nd FSS career assistance advisor. That early course sets the stage for what could happen in the years in front of them.
Other than the few group-targeted courses like FTAC, many of the classes are open to both military and civilians.
“All of our classes are really tailored to everyone,” said Master Sgt. Jermaine King, 802nd FSS CAA.
In 2018, approximately 7,254 personnel attended about 400 courses at JBSA, Sullivan said. The CAA team also held almost 2,500 individual career counseling sessions.
Counseling is also offered during night shifts to people who may not be able to attend normal sessions.
“We work 24/7,” said Senior Master Sgt. Charleen Jones, 59th MDW CAA. “A la carte service.”
Because of the multitude of courses offered and the wide range of topics covered, the CAA team uses instructors from JBSA.
“We’re the information bank,” Siddiqui said. “It can be anything from the cross-training aspect to where they are in life.”
Some of the instructors are civilian personnel, officers and enlisted personnel of all ranks who utilize the skills they apply in their work centers each day to teach courses, said King.
While face-to-face assistance is ideal, instructors can also answer inquires via email and their Facebook page. Those inquiries range from career development to how to properly prepare retirement paperwork.
For more information, contact the CAA team at 802FSS.CAA@us.af.mil or on their Facebook page, JBSA Career Assistance Advisor.