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January Chief's Concerns

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Troy Hammond
  • 169th Operations Group
Happy New Year and welcome back to Drill! A special "Thank You" goes out to those of you who may be reading this from a deployed location. While I know you understand why what you're doing is important, it doesn't make it any easier being away from your families and friends during the holiday season.

In this article I would like to talk about the Air National Guard Enlisted Grades Program.

I'm sure at least some, if not all of you have heard about the pending Enlisted Grades Review results being finalized by the time this article reaches print. Most of us that have experienced a few of these over the years will cringe when we hear those words though. A plethora of thoughts may immediately flood your mind, such as "reductions, position down grades, or losing upward mobility for our younger Airmen." 

In accordance with Air National Guard Instruction 38-202, Air National Guard Enlisted Grades Program, the enlisted grade structure must be reviewed every two years. We should look forward to these reviews and look at it as our "field units" time to work with our Operational Performance Reviews at National Guard Bureau to correct errors that may be preventing us from supporting mission requirements and/or career progression. However, we must keep in mind that this is not a "McEntire" Enlisted Grades Review, rather an ANG Enlisted Grades Review that is method/procedure designed to equitably distribute grades throughout all ANG field level units.

Enlisted Grades Council (EGC) The Director, Air National Guard (DANG) can direct an enlisted grade review at any time deemed necessary. The major participants in the ANG Grades Program are: ANG Command Chief, Career Field Functional Managers (CFFMs), EGC representatives, a representative from the ANG Manpower Office and the Enlisted Field Advisory Council (EFAC) representatives.

Enlisted Field Advisory Council (EFAC) EFAC will provide three representatives for the EGC. These members represent the voice of the field in the ANG corporate process on enlisted grades.

Enlisted Grade Percentages/Grade Allocation Process:
ANG Enlisted Grade Percentages. The percentages are the cornerstones of the ANG Enlisted Grades Program and are applicable to all ANG field level units. They are defendable to Air Staff, are not to be exceeded and are a percentage of total ANG funded enlisted end-strength numbers.

ANG (total) Enlisted Rank / Percentages
Chief Master Sgt. - 2%
Senior Master Sgt. - 5%
Master Sgt. - 18.5%
Tech. Sgt. - 25.5%
Staff Sgt. - 49%
Airman Basic to Senior Airman - 0% (Note: All ANG Ranks are at least Staff Sergeant)

Essentially, in order to get approval for excess authorizations (higher than what is shown above), Unit Type Codes are the most commonly used consideration. Example, if a UTC didn't ask for a particular grade (only skill level) it was difficult to justify a Master Sgt. when a Tech. Sgt. meets the same skill level requirements.

Lastly, after applying the percentages established in ANGI 38-202, the CFFMs must ensure that no Unit Type Code was broken after applying the percentages. If disconnects are identified, the CFFM/OPR must work with the EGC for resolution. I'm not sure when you should expect to hear impacts or results, so please stay tuned for particular Air Force Specialty Code updates.

Bottom line: If the proposed EGR is approved by the DANG, it may be too late to effect changes, but if you have problems within your career field with AFSCs and/or UTCs, stay in engaged with your CFFM. Internalize the English idiom, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," maybe your functional doesn't know or understand the problem(s) that you may be having. 

Thanks again for all you have done and all those great things you will do in our great Air Force. I hope 2016 will be a great year for you and your families and may God bless you.