April 10 recruitment tweet chat

By the Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The Air Force Recruiting Service participated in its eighth “office hours” tweet chat, #AsktheAF on @usairforce, April 10 and received 69 recruitment questions from Twitter followers. During the hour-long Web event, AFRS officials and the Air Force Social Media Team answered questions about enlistment eligibility requirements, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test scores and other career field-specific questions. The first 31 questions were answered during the tweet chat, but in case you missed it, here are all the questions and answers from the chat.

Q1: How similar is the Air Force’s boot camp training compared to the Navy or Marines?
A1: Each branch is different. Here is a link to read about ours: http://bit.ly/R6R6AR #AsktheAF

Q2: I’m 17-years-old and live in Nigeria. How can I join the USAF?
A2: You must be a legal resident of the U.S., have a valid Visa, and meet all requirements. #AsktheAF

Q3: I don’t get my braces off until most likely next May. Any chance I can enlist now with a date near then? #AsktheAF
A3: You can begin the process when you’re less than a year away from getting your braces off.

Q4: What does it take to become an officer in the reserves? #AsktheAF
A4: Since this is an active duty site, please refer your question to the Air Force Reserve office. bit.ly/13d58AD #AsktheAF

Q5: Is it possible to join with a history of depression from over five years ago?
A5: That would be up to the doctor at the MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) to determine. Please call a recruiter to inquire about having an evaluation done. #AsktheAF

Q6: What can give me a competitive edge to becoming a pilot?
A6: High GPA (grade point average), high pilot or navigators test scores and overall must be highly qualified. Earning a private pilot’s license and a technical degree will increase your chances of being selected.

Q7: Can I be denied to take the pre-ASVAB if I meet the weight requirements to enter the Air Force?
A7: You must be pre-qualified in order for your recruiter to begin any process with you.

Q8: What score do you need to enter the Air Force?
A8: While the minimum score is 36, a score of 50 plus will allow you to continue processing.

Q9: If someone wanted, can they be sent straight to a conflict after training?
A9: Once you get to your first duty station, the earliest you could see deployment would be 60 days.

Q10: If I wanted to be a recruiter, where would I be sent for training?
A10: Training is located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Tx.

Q11: What’s the best diet or workout to prepare me for BMT?
A11: There’s no set method, but here’s some recommendations: http://1.usa.gov/14ARYDs.

Q12: As an officer, are we able to still do combat like the enlisted guys?
A12: Yes, all members of the Air Force are eligible to deployment.

Q13: What’s the unit equivalent to the Army’s Delta and the Navy SEALS?
A13: Here is some more information about the Air Force’s Spec Ops units: http://bit.ly/1iyU5bn.

Q14: When is the right time to talk to a recruiter?
A14: If you’re interested, there’s no time like the present. Talk to a recruiter once you’re ready.

Q15: There are people with asthma in the military, so if I can pass a respiratory test, could I join the Air Guard?
A15: Since this is an active duty site, please refer your question to the Air Guard http://bit.ly/15P3wjP

Q16: Apply for an interservice transfer from the Army to USAF as a physician. What do I put on my personal statement? How will it benefit the AF?
A16: Please contact your healthcare professional recruiter for guidance.

Q17: How difficult is it to get a medical waiver for congenital cataracts?
A17: It’s difficult, but the chief medical officer will make that determination.

Q18: Can you tell me anything about what airborne mission system does?
A18: Learn more about airborne mission systems here: http://bit.ly/1hmougL.

Q19: What is the main reason the Air Force offers such great benefits?
A19: Learn more about the Air Force benefits here: http://bit.ly/1qlEjXm.

Q20: What are some current “critical need” jobs in the USAF?
A20: Job demands vary, but placement is based on ASVAB scores, physical, background and credit checks.

Q21: How long does it normally take to book a job and get a ship date in the DEP (Delayed Entry Program)?
A21: It may take three to nine months to book a job, as well as depart to Basic Military Training.

Q22: I’m home schooled. Can I still join the Air Force?
A22: A diploma issued to a graduate of a home school program must meet a variety of requirements, but yes, they can.

Q23: How difficult is it to become a drone operator? Are stresses different for them than other pilots?
A23: Each aspect has their own unique situations, but applicants are assigned an aircraft based on qualifications.

Q24: Does CAP (Civil Air Patrol) roll give me an advantage at being in the Air Force?
A24: Earning the Billy Mitchell, Amelia Earhart, or Carl Spaatz award will give you the advantage of being an E-3.

Q25: What is basic training like?
A25: Learn more about BMT here: http://tiny.cc/wxgf0w.

Q26: I leave July 1st for BMT, what should I prepare for BMT?
A26: Learn more about preparing for BMT here: http://tiny.cc/wxgf0w.

Q27: Any special requirements for an AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations) job?
A27: OSI is not an entry level career field. You must apply for it as retraining.

Q28: Would one be better off getting a degree, then joining as an officer or becoming one after enlisted.
A28: That is a personal choice, and would depend on your goals.

Q29: What does the timeline look like after tech school? Will I know where I’ll be going before I graduate?
A29: After BMT you go straight to tech school. You’ll get orders to your first base about two to three weeks before graduating tech school.

Q30: In what ways will graduating BMT with War Hawk benefit me?
A30: You get an award at BMT and more liberties over graduation weekend.

Q31: Where can I go to sign up for the Air Force?
A31: Your local AF recruiter will assist you. Find a recruiter here: bit.ly/11uA68V.

Q32: If your in the DEP program as an enlisted member, can I change it to become an officer?
A32: You must be discharged from the DEP to apply. However, OTS selection boards have been suspended until further notice.

Q33: I’m leaving for BMT and I would like to become an officer sometime in my career. What is the best way to do so?
A33: Get your bachelor degree, get a 3.0 GPA or higher and then apply. Once you meet the requirements, you can apply.

Q34: If my AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) is going to be security forces, can I still help out at the base chapel?
A34: You can inquire about volunteer work once you arrive at your first base.

Q35: If my husband and I both join, will we be deployed at the same time?
A35: Deployments are based off of the AF’s needs, so you could deploy at the same or different times.

Q36: How does someone get recommended for the PJs (pararescue jumpers)?
A36: Meet requirements and pass the PAST test (Physical Ability and Stamina Test): http://1.usa.gov/1i626rR

Q37: When you go to MEPS do they try and correct your visual acuity to 20/20 or should I get an eye exam before heading to MEPS?
A37: The MEPS cannot correct your visual acuity. You must contact an Ophthalmologist for review.

Q38: How does college credits help you rank coming into the Air Force?
A38: Earning college credits may provide you advanced rank. Please contact an Air Force recruiter.

Q39: What are some of the roles of CROs (combat rescue officer) in deployment today?
A39: You can find out more about a CRO at http://bit.ly/1jL05kB.

Q40: Once you graduate from the USAFA (United States Air Force Academy) and go to UPT (undergraduate pilot training), can you fly with the Guard, or do you have to go to active duty?
A40: If you graduate from USAFA and UPT, you will serve in the active AF. You may transfer or join the Air National Guard after you’ve completed your Military Service Obligation.

Q41: Is BMT really hard?
A41: Each individual has different experiences at Basic Military Training, but it’s not considered easy.

Q42: Is it alright to go to MEPS before I finish High School?
A42: Your Air Force recruiter will schedule you for a MEPS appointment when you meet the requirements to process.

Q43: How can someone switch between branches?
A43: By contacting an Air Force recruiter to determine your qualifications, and to see if the Air Force’s Prior Service Program is accepting applications.

Q44: What can I do to prepare myself for EOD (explosive ordnance disposal)?
A44: You must first contact an Air Force recruiter to determine your qualifications. You can learn more about EOD on http://bit.ly/14ASHo9.

Q45: How difficult is it to become a K-9 handler if you’re in security forces?
A45: Once you have earned your five skill level in security forces, and meet the requirements, you may apply.

Q46: What jobs can you get if you’re mildly colorblind?
A46: Provided you meet vision requirements, your recruiter has a list of jobs which you may qualify for.

Q47: Any specific advantages to flying helicopters in the Air Force, rather than the Army.
A47: After talking with recruiters from each service and establishing your goals, it’s up to you to make that decision. Also, the type of helicopter you want to fly should be considered.

Q48: How long is the average deployment?
A48: Average length of deployment is 120 -180 days, based on mission requirements and the needs of the Air Force.

Q49: What military careers do you have in the Air Force that involve technology?
A49: The Air Force is highly technological, and you can read about all careers on http://bit.ly/14ASHo9.

Q50: Is it better to join through the ROTC due to cutbacks or should I join when I graduate from college?
A50: College ROTC (reserve officer training corp), and applying for OTS (officers training school) are both sources of commissioning, & both are highly competitive. Your choice is a personal decision.

Q51: What kind of job openings could I have with an ASVAB score of 78?
A51: You must also qualify in one of the four aptitude areas; mechanical, administrative, general, or electronics to determine the job you may train and serve in, as well as passing a physical examination.

Q52: Can a non-citizen H4 visa holder join the Air Force?
A52: You must be residing in the U.S. legally and possess an INS Form I-151/551 also known as a “Green Card.” You must also meet the requirements to enlist in the Air Force.

Q53: Do we have proud deaf people in the Air Force?
A53: All individuals serving in the Air Force must meet different frequency hearing requirements, depending upon the job they qualify to train and serve in.

Q54: What is the length of 2A6X1 – aerospace propulsion technical school? I heard it was cut short?
A54: The length of your technical training depends upon the type of aircraft, and engine you will specialize in. Length of training can range from 34-61 days.

Q55: I’m 31 and I got a 77 on the ASVAB. Can I enlist?
A55: You must enlist and be in Basic Military Training prior to your 28th Birthday. Please contact the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve.

Q56: Can you be a single parent on active duty?
A56: Yes, provided you meet the requirements to enlist in the Air Force. Please see an Air Force recruiter for information and guidance.

Q57: If I didn’t get accepted for an ROTC scholarship, can I still apply for the ROTC classes.
A57: Yes, speak to your guidance counselor regarding college level aerospace science courses.

Q58: If I’m a Lt. Col. in AFJRROTC (Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps). Is there a possibility of earning the rank of general?
A58: Yes, there is always the possibility of becoming a general in the Air Force, provided you meet all career milestones.

Q59: How long does it take to become a combat controller?
A59: Technical training is approximately 179 days. However, follow-on training, and location, is dependent upon career progression.

Q60: What is life like for an Air Force photographer?
A60: The Air Force provides a quality of life unmatched, to include education, training, travel, and much more.

Q61: Have the two year weather hubs been eliminated for 1W031 (weather observer).
A61: Since this concerns someone already in the Air Force, we recommend you talk to your career functional manager.

Q62: What could a person who was disqualified by MEPS for a high stigmatism do in order for their file to be reactivated for DEP?
A62: You may need a chief medical officer review at the MEPS to provide you an eligibility determination or possibly a waiver. Please contact your AF recruiter for more information and guidance.

Q63: I know I have to serve a four-year enlistment, but how long do I have to serve if I go to AF ROTC in college?
A63: If you are commissioned through AF ROTC, you will incur a four year military service obligation with the U.S. Air Force.

Q64: Is being part of pararescue dangerous?
A64: Any job can be dangerous. However, the training one receives to serve as a pararescueman, always focuses on safety, and the hazards of the job.

Q65: I want to join, but my family doesn’t want me to. What do I do?
A65: It is important that you share your intentions with your family. You may sit down together with an Air Force recruiter, or share www.airforce.com with them, so that they are more aware of your goals and ambitions.

Q66: What fighter aircraft are the most new pilots being assigned to?
A66: There is no way of knowing this information as it is ever-changing and based on the needs of the Air Force.

Q67: Do you get paid extra for being stationed at a northern-tiered base?
A67: You are not paid more for being stationed at an Air Force base in the northern United States.

Q68: Do any jobs require being pepper sprayed as part of the training?
A68: Security forces personnel may be exposed to pepper spray for training and awareness.

Q69: Can I take the ASVAB if I’m only 17?
A69: Yes, you can take the ASVAB if you are 17 years of age.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask them during our next Air Force Recruiting tweetchat April 24.

I will no longer be a victim

By Skytina Felder-Jones
8th Fighter Wing

SAPR: A silent victim is a victim foreverAs a young child, the horrors of sexual violence arrested my sense of safety, security and the sanctity of my home — robbing me of self-worth, my voice and the development of healthy boundaries.

At the age of four I became a guilt-riddled, withdrawn and a painfully shy child. I was frightened of the world outside of my mother and was petrified by almost all men.

From that time until the age of 19, my self-esteem and self-worth told me I was damaged, unlovable and had nothing of value to say, so I kept my mouth shut most of the time.

Spiritual growth, counseling and a strong network of family and friends helped me flourish. I found my voice, my worth and developed a strong locus of internal control. I was able to achieve my academic and professional aspirations.

I was finally more than that helpless little girl. My faith in humanity had been restored — and then it happened. He came into my life and threatened to undo the lifetime of healing and restoration that seemed as if it only just begun.

No, he was not a stranger. He was my tormentor, my boogeyman: a field grade officer who happened to be my boss. “We are on the same team,” I thought to myself. We have the same goals. “Why can’t you see me as a professional vice something for your own sexual gratification? This cannot be happening to me.”

Most cases of sexual harassment and assault happen subtly. There is a journey, a refined process that offenders and perpetrators take potential targets through. My situation was not any different.

It began with intrusion.

My offender initiated this process with sexual remarks, inappropriate comments and at one point grabbed my arm and instructed to me to serve him dinner at a command Christmas party. I managed to squeak something barely audible as I looked around to see if anyone noticed and would come to my aid. In retrospect, I believe we were all flabbergasted and did not know what to do.

I was embarrassed and frustrated that I did not stand up for myself. At that moment, I was 4-years-old all over again and could not find my voice. My offender, on the other hand, was overtly testing my boundaries to see what he could get away with. My lack of response emboldened him.

As time went by, my supervisor’s behavior toward me became more blatant and frequent. I began to dismiss what was happening. I would tell myself he doesn’t mean anything by it. I became convinced if I ignored the behavior, he would get the picture that I was not interested and his advances were unwanted.

I eventually came to accept he was not going to stop and I would continue to be uncomfortable; just another unpleasant part of life. But, I was strong enough to deal with it, so I thought. We were at the second phase in the process: desensitization.

So now we are four months into incessant and unwanted sexual advances. I was summoned several times to his office under the guise of a work-related task, only to have himself and his male counterparts look me over, ask personal questions and make sexual comments as I exited the room.

I was put on display. It was horribly degrading. The beginning of the end of this hell started when my boss squeezed my upper thigh under the table at a command function in a crowded room.

I was ashamed, hurt and embarrassed. I left the event and went to the equal opportunity office, because I knew I had to do something. I told them of my ordeal and they were more than willing to help me. I asked to be given time to think about what course of action to take. I was leaving for a five-week temporary duty assignment the next day.

I thought I would have a reprieve from the harassment and the potential for another assault. I was wrong. My offender sent emails during my TDY. He called me and basically told me when I returned, it was time to go to the next level and it was no longer an option.

I did not sleep that night. I was scared. I returned to work after my TDY and avoided my supervisor/offender at all costs. I ignored his phone calls. I would peak out my door before I left my office to ensure I did not bump into him.

I would correspond with him by email only. Finally, I was summoned to his office and was asked why I was avoiding him. He informed me I needed to make it a point to see him every day.

The following day I was summoned into his office, again, to be put on display. As I greeted the other male field grade officer present, he openly chided me and I was instructed not to speak to another man. According to him, I was his property.

No longer was I a highly educated professional or valued member of the team. I was there solely for my offender’s benefit. I felt less than human, weak and powerless. I was no longer a 34-year-old capable and confident woman. I had transformed completely into that helpless girl from my childhood.

Not only did my offender interrupt my peace at work, but he invaded my dreams and my thoughts and pervaded every aspect of my life. I became paralyzed and consumed by fear. The quid pro quo in the form of threats relevant to my performance appraisals and job kept me in a constant state of flux. I was a prisoner in my office and in my home.

I was living the hell many of my previous clients, also former victims of violence had described to me time and time again. I was now reliving which propelled me to join the Navy in hopes of escaping my past.

The final breaking point came when my offender began to actively take steps to eliminate my job. Upon my return from my TDY, I found out he had withheld paperwork to extend my job. The organization’s budget personnel hounded him for seven months to submit the paperwork.

Wittingly, the harassment began during the same timeframe. I decided I was no longer going to be a silent victim. I went to the director of our section and notified him of what was going on. I informed him I intended to file a report with the EO office.

The investigation began that day. Asserting the protections that are guaranteed to every military and civilian personnel is not an easy process. During the investigative process, I felt as though I was laid bare and the entire world could see my fear, my shame, my cowardice and my trauma.

I had to tell every sordid detail of my ordeal over and over. It was such an intrusive but necessary process. The investigation completely polarized our office. I was ostracized by people whom I valued and trusted. The morale and the foundation of our once solid team had was decimated. We never recovered. I was blamed by some and heralded as a heroine by others.

I was so afraid no one would believe me. After a 45-day investigation, the charges in my complaint were substantiated and I was relieved, but I did not feel vindicated. My offender’s supporters impugned my character, refused to cooperate with me regarding work-related tasks and completely shunned me. I did find solace in the fact my offender would no longer be able to prey upon the two other women who came forward during my case.

In the end, I was battered and bruised. I had displaced anger and found it difficult to trust any leader. I was angry at myself. The nightmares continued and the world was no longer a safe place for me. I did seek help, but I had gone so far within, it was difficult for anybody to reach me.

I knew I allowed him to change who I was. I was no longer the sweet, jovial and passionate woman I always was. I became a defensive, aggressive and mean woman — a woman I did not recognize.

A year later I saw him as I was leaving a doctor’s appointment and lowered my eyes and head. The voice I was regaining rose up and said, “You have nothing to be ashamed of.” I looked my offender in his eyes until he lowered his head and eyes. He did the walk of shame that day.

At that moment, I was released from the burden of trauma I was carrying around with me daily. I no longer have nightmares and am learning to trust my leaders and people in general again. I smile and laugh daily. That mean girl is gone for good.

The help of the chaplaincy, my spiritual support, victim advocates and mental health provided the way for my peace and love of life again. Not only did they validate my reality, but they brought stability and safety into my world that was turned upside down.

Therapeutic work in counseling provided for healing and restoration. I highly encouraged all victims to seek help. Strength and resilience rests upon our ability to reach out to others in our time of need. Shame belongs solely to the perpetrator.

As I mentioned earlier, there are three phases in the process of sexual harassment and assault. I spoke of intrusion and desensitization: the last phase is isolation. Isolation is the goal of every perpetrator in order to accomplish a full-fledge sexual assault. I am eternally grateful my ordeal never led to isolation.

I am empowered because of knowledge. I am empowered because I am no longer silent. I am no longer a victim.

PHOTO: Skytina Felder-Jones poses for a photo to communicate her stance on sexual assault Mar. 12, 2014, at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. Felder-Jones shared her experience with others so they are aware of their options and that there is life after an assault. Felder-Jones is an 8th Fighter Wing Resilience Program specialist and facilitator. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales/Released)

Protecting the castle

By Chief Master Sgt. David Duncan
319th Air Base Wing command chief


Chief Master Sgt. David Duncan
319th Air Base Wing command chief

In my position as a command chief, I always take advantage of the opportunities I get to speak with Airmen. I often ask them several canned questions just to get the conversation rolling like “Where are you from?”, “Why did you join the Air Force?” and “Have you called your mom and dad lately?”

And finally I like to ask, “Why are you here?”

With this last question I have found each of us joins the Air Force for different reasons, but it’s important that we get to the bottom of why our Airmen are actually here.

So far, in my 28 years of Air Force service, I have held many jobs: maintenance, personnel, teaching, group superintendent and now command chief. The point here is not that I can’t keep a job, rather in each of these jobs, I have felt no less a part of the Air Force than in any other one of these jobs. As a young Airman, I was taught to look at the Air Force from a holistic point of view. We all fit in somewhere, and if our jobs weren’t important to the mission, they simply wouldn’t exist.

In November, I had the opportunity to attend the Enterprise Leadership Seminar at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. During the seminar, our senior mentor, retired Gen. Gregory “Speedy” Martin, asked us a question that really stuck with me. His question was, “Are you laying bricks, building a wall, or protecting the castle?”

To me, this question should make everyone take stock in what they bring to the fight for themselves, their wingmen, work center, squadron, group, wing, major command, Air Force and nation. As a young Airman, I never would have thought about my service on this level. But, as our Air Force continues to get smaller with the current force management reductions, I think we all need to stop for a moment and consider where we fit into the big picture.

Let me explain a little further. When I was a force support squadron superintendent in Guam, there was a young Airman working the grill in our dining facility. One day, I asked him why he was here. He said, “Chief, all I do is cook eggs for people’s breakfasts.” I quickly realized he didn’t understand the importance of his place in the Air Force. He could not see past the end of the grill. He was not aware, or did not believe, the breakfasts he prepared every morning fueled the fight. To him, he was simply laying bricks and didn’t know why.

Later that morning, I was speaking with this Airman’s supervisor, and I asked him the same question. His answer was, “I close out the breakfast meal and get ready for the lunch crowd every day.” I pushed a little further and asked why he was important to the wing’s mission? He said he didn’t really think he was since, “there were plenty of other people in the flight who could open and close the dining facility.”

It was obvious to me this staff sergeant believed his purpose was simply to ensure all the brick layers (chefs) were performing their duties so he could open and close the dining facility on time. To me, he viewed himself as the guy building the wall. But he also lacked the understanding of why this wall needed to be built. No wonder his Airman was confused about the same subject.

Shortly after these incidents, one of our “friends” in Asia started acting up so we stood a few B-52s on alert in case they were needed, subsequently they were. During this time, I stopped in the dining facility and saw the same Airman and staff sergeant. They were fired up and motivated and were telling me about their importance to the wing’s mission. I honestly thought someone was playing a joke on me. It turns out the dining facility manager sat down with his staff and discussed the importance of their work to the wing’s mission. He quickly and easily made a direct tie between the grill and every position on base, to include the pilots flying those B-52s. You see, he got it! He understood his chefs weren’t just laying bricks or building a wall. He was able to make them see they were helping to protect the castle. We all can’t have those military-sexy jobs shown in recruiting commercials. However, those commercials don’t really show every AFSC, but if you listen closely, they do speak to the importance of every Air Force member.

Again, as the Air Force continues to get smaller, it becomes even more critical each Airman understands the importance of their daily work. Recently departed Maj. Gen. A. J. Stewart once said, “The U.S. Air Force is concerned about quality of character, quality of effort … if you want to just get by, don’t come to the U.S. Air Force.”

You see, General Stewart also got it. With his quote in mind, we need to work harder at building stronger relationships between each other and with our community partners. Specifically, we need to do a better job looking out for each other in terms of stopping all unprofessional behavior, including sexual assaults and intoxicated driving, to name a few. This is yet another way we protect the castle.

In order to build these relationships, it is imperative that we quickly understand, acknowledge and execute our duty to intervene. If we see fellow Airmen about to do something stupid, we intervene and stop them. If we happen upon information concerning an event that has already taken place, we stand up and do the right thing, we don’t remain silent. Covering up for your buddy is not being a Wingman — it is being an accomplice to wrongdoing and should be dealt with accordingly. Intervening is clearly an additional way in which we protect the castle.

In the end, I guess it really comes down to my original question, “Why are you here?” I hope you now realize this question is a little deeper than you might have originally thought. Are you the one who will be in a position to help save someone, but will choose not to? Or, are you the one who can’t see the bigger picture and doesn’t realize how important your job is to the Air Force mission. Are you simply laying bricks and building a wall or are you here for the right reason — protecting the castle. I hope this is why we are all here!

You know you’re in the Air Force when…v3

By Meredith March
Air Force Production Defense Media Activity

Sometimes “culture” just seems like a buzzword. But, initiatives and missions aside, the Air Force is more than just a career — it’s a lifestyle! Our first and second blog posts focused on our service’s sometimes humorous quirks and received a tremendous response from our followers. So without further ado, here is the third installment in the series. You know you’re in the AF when…

1. You consider your next PT test while browsing through the menu at your favorite restaurant.

Airmen exercising

Photo 1: You might even calculate exactly how much PT you’ll have to do to indulge and still pass the abdominal circumference portion.

2. In conversation, you use so many acronyms that your non-Air Force friends and family members have no idea what you’re saying.

Airmen and their families at BMT

Photo 2: “So, the NCOIC had questions about my EPR, but I was TDY at PME…”

3. At the end of leave, you’re more sad about shaving your beard/mustache than you are about going back to work.

Half-shaven Airman

Photo 3: We know—even if it’s just scruff from over the weekend.

4. You hear a coin drop and you panic.

Coin challenge

Photo 4: Challenge coins look impressive displayed in a case on your desk, but hopefully you also keep one in your pocket to save money (and avoid some humiliation) during a coin check.

5. You have 12 reflective belts stashed in your closet and/or desk.

Reflective belts for PT

Photo 5: As attractive as we think they are, it’s not necessary to wear more than one at a time.

6. You feel like you’re missing something when you’re not wearing a hat.

Uniform preparation

Photo 6: Admit it…you’ve even reached for your cover when you’re out of uniform.

7. You take your Professional Development Guide everywhere as your promotion test day draws near.

Professional development guide

Photo 7: You’re moving on up!

8. Years later, your military training instructor’s words still randomly pop into your mind.

Military training instructor

Photo 8: Was it the words of wisdom, or simply the volume?

9. During an argument or when correcting someone, you still use the “knife hand.”

Basic training instruction

Photo 9: You can tell someone was/is in the military when they correct their kids using the knife hand.

10. Friends from other services joke about the “Chair Force,” then tell you they wish they were Airmen.

Air Force Academy graduation

Photo 10: We’re glad WE are!

Can you think of some more? Comment below!

Successful PCS secrets

By Senior Master Sgt. André E. KillKelley
28th Logistics Readiness Squadron

move2The permanent change of station season is almost upon us, and with it being a busy time in a military family’s life, it is good to start preparing ahead of time.

The secrets to a successful PCS are preparing early and personally taking control of your household goods movement. The best place to start is at your own computer and by going to the Defense Personal Property Program website at http://www.move.mil.

At the DPPP website, you will be able to check the net weight of your shipment and find out how many days of storage you’re authorized for or have remaining. You will also be able to learn more about how you can transport pets, personal effects and other prohibited items.

In addition, Air Force officials recently announced changes to the Department of Defense policy on transporting a member’s professional books, papers and equipment with their household goods during a PCS.

Known as “pro-gear,” the new PBPE policy will impact orders issued on or after May 1. PBPE will be limited to a maximum of 2,000 pounds, and include items in a member’s possession needed for the performance of official duties at his or her next assignment.

PBPE items include instruments, tools and equipment unique to technicians, mechanics, medical professionals, musicians and members of other professions. They also include specialized clothing, such as diving suits, space suits, flying suits and helmets, band uniforms, chaplains’ vestments, and other specialized apparel and out-of-the-norm uniforms or clothing.

The policy excludes other items of a professional nature that will not be necessary at a member’s next duty station, like text books from schools and personal books, even if they are used as part of a previous professional reading program. This also includes previously allowed items like personal computer equipment, memorabilia and table service.

A PCS can be very exciting, but quite intense as well. Taking steps to ensure you have what you need in a timely manner will definitely help make the process smoother for you and your family.

PHOTO: Changing duty stations can be hard, especially during the peak moving season from May to August. The Defense Personal Property System website is available for Airmen as a one-stop shop where members can completely manage their move process. (Courtesy photo illustration)

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