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September Chief's Concerns

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Scott Robinson with the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, 12 Sept, 2011.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Scott Robinson with the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, 12 Sept, 2011. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Since I have become a Chief, the number one question I hear from Airman and NCO's is "When am I going to get promoted?"

Every month as the promotion orders are published and read in our roll call formations, some individuals get the feeling they are getting left out or overlooked for promotion. As they see it, it appears that equally qualified individuals are getting promoted ahead of them. This poses the above question in their mind. We as supervisors, closely monitor the progression of each individual as they are being considered for promotion. Things considered are; time in service, time in grade, Physical Training assessment, Professional Military Education (PME) requirements for the rank and AFSC qualification commiserate with the rank they are being considered for (5 Level, 7 Level).

In most cases we find that individuals get so focused on AFSC qualifications or just meeting basic requirements that they neglect to set aside the time to do the required PME that is needed for promotion. It is the individual's duty and responsibility to know the qualifications that are needed for each step of their career and make steps to complete these qualifications.
AFI 36-2618 - The Enlisted Force Structure (the Little Brown Book), states that everyone from junior enlisted Airmen, NCOs and SNCOs, are required to maintain the "highest" level of readiness to meet mission requirements, both personally and professionally. PME is a key part of individual professional military success in the Air National Guard and the United States Air Force. Airman Leadership School (ALS), Non Commissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) and the Senior NCOA are the three enlisted PMEs we must complete during our career. Each one must be completed in order to transition and advance into the next level of your enlisted career. By keeping this training up to date, you ready and challenge yourself for increased opportunity and responsibility.

Another promotion requirement for senior NCOs in 2015 will be the requirement to obtain a CCAF degree for promotion to the grade of senior master sergeant and chief master sergeant. While some individuals may have higher education as part of their resume, they still might not have the appropriate credit hours needed to obtain the CCAF degree for their career field.

All personnel should check with the base training office to ensure they get all the information they need to achieve this requirement. You never know when the opportunity for promotion may present itself, so you have to make yourself ready.

E. Joseph Cossman once said, "Obstacles are things a person see when he takes his eyes off his goal". Don't let PME or a CCAF degree be an obstacle for your overall goals. You should maintain the highest state of readiness at all times and be ready to achieve the highest rank you can while serving your state and nation.

As I write this article, I reflect back on my 31-plus years in the military. The time has come to leave this great unit as I plan for my retirement in December. It has been an awesome adventure working with great people and traveling the world as a member of the finest Air National Guard unit in the world. I challenge each and every one of you to continue to maintain the high standards of professionalism that has been set well before I arrived here. I am proud to say that I will always be faithful to a proud heritage and I will always remain a Swamp Fox!

SEMPER PRIMUS