LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. –
Additional changes to the Air Force special duty program will require Airmen to be nominated and vetted through an approval process that began Oct. 1.
The changes to the program allow leadership and commanders to nominate their top performing Airmen for positions such as military training instructors, airman and family readiness noncommissioned officers, enlisted accessions recruiter, professional military instructors and honor guard noncommissioned officer positions, which were filled previously on a volunteer basis.
Air Staff provides the major commands nomination quotas twice a year, in March and September, based on their population of staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants. ACC has received their quotas, which requests nominations for 98 staff sergeants, 106 technical sergeants and 115 master sergeants
There are 10 special and T-prefix duties selected for the program have been identified as enlisted developmental positions for mentoring Airmen.
Airmen who have demonstrated a record of exceptional performance in their primary duties are being sought to fill the developmental special duty positions. Airmen selected for the positions may also have the opportunity to enrich their careers, gaining leadership skills and broadening their experiences.
If an Airman is eligible but not nominated, it may also have adverse effects on their career in the Air Force.
"I think if we encourage Airmen through a nominative process and allow leadership to encourage them by saying you're ready and we believe that you are the quality person to go do this job then we will have a highly motivated and diverse group of developmental special duty personnel affecting our Airmen," said Chief Master Sgt. Rick Parsons, command chief, Air Combat Command.
Although the assignment selection process will change to a nominative process, Airmen motivated to volunteer for a developmental special duty may still have the opportunity to do so.
"Airmen need to make contact with their leadership, voice their desire to be nominated on one of the lists and if their leadership agrees that they are the right person or right caliber to go and do the job they will be nominated," Parsons said. "When we need to fill vacancies we will certainly go to the list and pick volunteers first."
"Not everyone will be nominated for these positions. The Air Force is looking for the best qualified Airmen that have qualities of a leader and will be able to prosper in these positions," said Chief Michael J. Helfer, chief enlisted manager for the manpower, personnel and services directorate.
Commanders will be allotted 30 days to nominate individuals based on rank and developmental special duty quotas.
Airmen nominated for developmental special duty positions still have to meet eligibility requirements listed in Personnel Services Delivery Memorandum 13-62, as well as specific criteria for the special duty listed in the Special Duty Catalog.
April 2014 is the month when most of the selected Airmen can expect to report to their new special duty assignments.
Once selected, the nominees will have 45 days to accept or deny the special duty assignment. Denial of an assignment will result in the same consequences as turning down a PCS assignment. This means the member will not be eligible for PCS, promotion or reenlistment.
For more information about developmental special duties refer to PSDM 13-62 and the revised SPECAT.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Steve Stanley contributed to this story.