The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team rehearses for the 57th Presidential Inaugural on Jan. 11, 2013 at Joint Base Andrews, Md. Assignment to base honor guards will now be a vetted nomination process. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Erin O’Shea)
by Staff Sgt. Candice C. Page
Headquarters Air Combat Command Public Affairs
9/5/2013 - LANGLEY AFB, Va. -- Approved changes to the Air Force special duty program will require Airmen to be nominated and vetted through an approval process beginning Oct. 1.
Changes to the special duty 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.
The10 special duties and T-prefix duties selected for the program have been identified as enlisted developmental positions due to leadership responsibilities and the ability to mentor young 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.
"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."
Air Staff will provide major commands nomination quotas twice a year, in March and September, based on their enlisted 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.
"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 manpower, personnel and services directorate.
Commanders will be allotted 30 days to nominate individuals based on rank and developmental special duty quotas.
"Quotas have been set to establish a minimum of nominations for MAJCOMs so Air Staff can have a pull that will fit their needs, said Helfer. "The quotas received will be distributed equally amongst ACC wings, but if a wing does not receive a levied quota they should still be nominating the best of the best to serve these duties."
ACC has a deadline of Sept. 30 to have nominations submitted to the Air Force Personnel Center.
Although, Airmen will be nominated for developmental special duty positions by their leadership, they still have to meet basic 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, which is currently under revision.
"Once an Airman has been nominated and selected for an assignment they will need to meet the eligibility requirements, detailed in the assignment selection instructions, within 45 days of notification," said Helfer.
He said, no indication of a timeline has been set on when Airmen will receive assignment notification, but April 2014 is the month when most Airmen can expect to report to their new special duty assignments.
For more information about developmental special duties refer to PSDM 13-62 and the SPECAT.