Tag Archives: education

Enlisted promotions: How can I join the top 1%?

By Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Do you want to get promoted, expand your level of leadership and join the enlisted force’s top one percent? We researched how chief master sergeants worked their way through the enlisted ranks, and found these common tips on how they made the most of each promotion opportunity.

Continue reading Enlisted promotions: How can I join the top 1%?

Continuing the Tradition of “Airmen helping Airmen”

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By Beatriz Swann (CMSgt, Ret)
Air Force Aid Society

I joined the U.S. Air Force in 1979 at the young age of 18. I knew the Air Force would offer opportunities that I would otherwise not have if I stayed in my hometown. What I thought would be a short stay in the military ended up being 33 years of service. I retired as a chief master sergeant in 2012 and began my second career as Emergency Assistance Caseworker with the Air Force Aid Society, supporting Airmen and their families every day.

As a young airman, I knew about the Air Force Aid Society. It came up each year during the Air Force Assistance Fund campaign – I understood AFAS was where to go if you had an emergency financial situation – but that’s really all I knew. Later on, in my supervisory positions, I encouraged my Airmen to use AFAS if they needed it but still did not know the full scope of what AFAS was all about. Continue reading Continuing the Tradition of “Airmen helping Airmen”

Are you ready to leave military service?

By Master Sgt. C.A. Tony Sargent
81st Medical Support Squadron

When Air Force leadership announced they would need to cut about 25,000 Airmen over the next five years, many people wondered if they would be affected.

A variety of programs were announced, including several allowing Airmen the option to retire early. The Air Force also allowed some Airmen the option to receive voluntary separation pay if they met certain requirements. Continue reading Are you ready to leave military service?

Being a leader is about empowerment

by Capt. Joe Ahlers
97th Air Mobility Wing Office of the Staff Judge Advocate

When you look up a few quotes on leadership, common themes develop: leaders are visionary. Leaders show the way and guide those underneath them to success. Leaders take the helm, they steer the ship and they set the example. For lack of a better word, leaders…lead.

But just as, if not more, important to developing as a leader is learning to empower subordinates to take on leadership roles of their own. As impressive as one person’s credentials may be, they cannot alone be the stone on which a successful organization is built. Successful leaders know this and they cultivate strong leadership skills among their followers by harnessing a vital but difficult to master personal skill: deference. Deference means showing respect or yielding to an idea, person, or organization not of one’s own. Deference is not easy; leaders must make tough decisions and supporting a subordinate’s ideas or methods is difficult when the leader knows that they will bear the responsibility if things go wrong. Yet, a leader who defers to their subordinates when appropriate will have followers who are more invested in their work, produce better results, and are more dedicated to the greater success of the organization.

leadership

Take for example two supervisors, Jack and Susan. Jack dictates exactly what each person in an office project will work on and how they should carry out their tasks; he spends significant time re-working memorandums from his subordinates to conform to his style of writing and carefully scrutinizes the most minor decisions within his organization. Jack’s employees know they are merely at work to fulfill Jack’s task listing and do not make efforts to go above and beyond as doing so has little payoff in Jack’s eyes.

Susan, on the other hand, provides her employees a framework for office tasks but gives them latitude to explore and develop their own solutions. Susan ensures work product is accurate and sets general guidelines but believes it is important that a subordinate’s work carry its own voice and not simply her style or way of doing things. Susan ultimately makes the final decision but her employees see that she genuinely considers their viewpoints and trusts them as professionals. Susan’s subordinates are more confident and enthusiastic in their daily work and take pride in ensuring they take charge of their job functions regardless of their prominence.

Deference in leadership is easily applicable in the military. Even tasks guided by layers of regulation provide opportunities for leeway in how to accomplish daily tasks. Effective leaders nurture leadership at every level and encourage subordinates to become the expert and take responsibility for their work. If a written memorandum is wrong, fix it, but leave some room for the subordinate to use their own style; supervisors can ensure work is in the proper form and promote an employee’s confidence by deferring to their personal style. Provide subordinates a framework for how to accomplish a task and see what they come up with; you might be surprised to see a new way of doing things and you’ll drive the employee to work harder to impress.

In many ways, we are all leaders; we have raised our hands to guide the defense of the nation in whatever way we’re asked. But in daily life, leadership is much more than managing a task or directing a project; it’s about promoting a environment in which those who follow you do so not because they have to but because they desperately want to impress you and improve your organization. A true leader knows that empowering the skills and abilities of those who follow them means promoting the ideas of not just themselves, but all individuals who make up a successful team.

What kind of leader are you? What’s your leadership style?

PHOTO: Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, visits with Airmen from the 6th Medical Group at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., March 11, 2014. McDew toured multiple sections of the MacDill clinic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tori Schultz)

May 8 recruitment tweet chat

By the Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The Air Force Recruiting Service participated in its ninth “office hours” tweet chat, #AsktheAF on @usairforce, May 8 and received 32 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. In case you missed it, here are all the questions and answers from the chat.

AF recruiting

Q1: Can I get a tattoo sleeve while in the Air Force?
A1: The tattoo policy applies to getting in and while you’re in. Check out http://bit.ly/111YFdA for more info.

Q2: How closely will the USAF and RCAF be able to work in the future, with both countries flying F-35s?
A2: Unfortunately, we cannot predict future joint missions.

Q3: What’s going to happen to the A-10s?
A3: You’ll have to stay posted for more information.

Q4: What are the current honor grad requirements for BMT?
A4: You’ll need to score a 90% or higher on all testable items & be in the top 10% of all graduates.

Q5: What are the current thunderbolt PT requirements?
A5: Males-1.5 mi in 9:30 >; 55 push-ups, 60 sit-ups; 5 pull-ups. Females – 1.5 mi in 12:00>; 32 push-ups; 55 sit-ups, 2 pull-ups.

Q6: What is the average timeframe for someone in the DEP to go to basic training?
A6: There’s a 3-9 month wait time after you process until you go to BMT.

Q7: Is there any way to get a degree while going active duty?
A7: Yes, after completing BMT, tech school and upgrade training, you can take college classes.

Q8. Does the Air Force still use the MAVNI program? If so, what are languages open?
A8: MAVNI is open for French (from African countries). Talk to a recruiter for more info.

Q9: I am green card holder and 30 years old can I enlist the Air Force?
A9: You exceed the age limit, and we do not give age waivers.

Q10: What kind of nursing options are there in the Air Force?
A10: You must have a BSN to be considered, and then you’ll be placed into a specific field based on current needs.

Q11: How many students can go directly into pre-med after they graduate from the Academy?
A11: Contact Academy officials for your answer: http://bit.ly/1obC6iC

Q12: Do we need a certain ASVAB score to be selected for PJ training?
A12: For PJ training, you will need to score AFQT: 50, Gen: 44.

Q13: What are some combat related jobs I can get into after ROTC besides security forces?
A13: You can be a combat rescue officer or special tactics officer. Learn more here: http://1.usa.gov/15E3PMP

Q14: What are the qualifications to become a USAF security forces officer?
A14: Along with being selected, you need a BA, 3.0 GPA, be a U.S. citizen, & more, but OTS boards are currently suspended.

Q15: Are you allowed to make phone calls at BMT?
A15: Phone calls can be made upon arrival, at week 4 and week 7. Other than that, it’s up to your TI.

Q16: I’m from Ghana and want to know how I can apply to enter the Air Force.
A16: You must live in the U.S. for two years, have a valid visa and meet all other requirements.

Q17: What year will the F-35 enter full production?
A17: The F-35 has already been produced as a joint aircraft.

Q18. What is the TACP PAST test? Standard and SOF if possible.
A18: Please refer to the following link: http://1.usa.gov/15E3PMP

Q19: How many times do you have to pass the PAST test before going to basic and your tech school?
A19: Your recruiter will brief you on their standards.

Q20: Is a high school diploma necessary to join the Air Force or will a GED suffice?
A20: If you got your GED through an in-class program, you can enter. If you tested for it you must also have 15 college credits.

Q21: Is there any chance that the A-10 fleet will remain in active service?
A21: The A-10 remains a viable weapon system. No firm determination has been made on the future of this aircraft.

Q22: What type of jobs will crypto linguists be doing in the Air Force?
A22: You will be proficient in transcribing, recording, and analyzing voice communication signals/transcripts

Q23: Can siblings enlist at the same time?
A23: Provided both siblings are qualified, they may enlist at the same time.

Q24: I am a legal resident and 30 years old, I took the ASVAB and had a 77 on the AFQT. Can I enlist in the Air Force?
A24: Non-prior service applicants must be at least 17 to apply and in Basic Military Training before their 28th birthday.

Q25: Is the Air Force prior service program open to all military branches?
A25: Yes, it’s open to all military branches when it is active provided you’re otherwise qualified. At this time, Prior Service program is suspended with exception of pararescue.

Q26: With the rise of FBW, CPUs and unmanned crafts, how does USAF ensure stick-and-rudder skills are still being learned?
A26: Basic flying skills are taught, and based upon the type of aircraft you will rate, will depend upon the system(s) you will learn.

Q27: Is tactical aircraft maintenance a good job?
A27: If you have displayed the aptitude, it is an extremely good job.

Q28: Are microdermal piercings allowed in the Air Force if they are not visible with clothes on?
A28: Check out the FAQ about tattoos and piercings here: http://bit.ly/15KYpPs.

Q29: What are the requirements of ARC Airmen while on MPA orders to their ARC unit?
A29: This chat is for active duty AF. You will need to contact your Reserve unit for that info.

Q30: Can community college grads w/associates degrees become a commissioned officer?
A30: Must have Bachelors from an accredited university and qualifying GPA to apply for OTS.