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Chief's View: Developing Our Airmen

Chief Master Sgt. Cameron B. Kirksey, command chief master sergeant, Air Force Reserve Command.

Chief Master Sgt. Cameron B. Kirksey, command chief master sergeant, Air Force Reserve Command.

Citizen Airman/April 2015 -- One of my goals as your chief is to mentor and grow our enlisted force. I understand that our force is only as strong as the men and women who volunteer to serve. Our goal in the Air Force Reserve is to provide opportunities to strengthen the force and develop our enlisted Airmen.

This month, I want to highlight some of the changes going on across the command in terms of implementing the Enlisted Evaluation System and make sure you understand the current enlisted force development process.

As many of you have probably heard, the Air Force and Air Force Reserve are implementing a new Enlisted Evaluation System. The goal of the new system is to ensure job performance is the primary focus when it comes to promotions. This article provides you the highlights, but I encourage you to reach out to your local force support squadron for additional information and guidance.

So what does this new system mean for you? Individual Reservists and participating individual ready Reservists, including air reserve technicians, will continue to receive reports every two years, and active Guard and Reserve members will continue to receive annual reports. People of all ranks, from senior airman with 20 months' time in service through chief master sergeant, will experience a migration from their current evaluation period to the static closeout dates based on rank, according to the implementation schedule. 

The philosophy behind this change is to build an easier, more predictable evaluation program based on the grade of the individual, rather than his or her independent evaluation timeframe. The static closeout dates will ensure all members in the same grade have the same evaluation period and closeout date. The Air Force Reserve will use the evaluation promotion recommendation area to capture an Airman's performance and future potential.

Our enlisted force development remains a top priority for us. To accomplish this, we have established developmental teams to help us identify, develop and grow our enlisted force. Our functional development teams meet on a bi-annual schedule to provide functional developmental feedback and identify key personnel within their respective career fields.

My office, in conjunction with the Directorate of Manpower, Personnel and Services' Force Development Branch and Air Reserve Personnel Center, conducts a command-level E-8/9 development team annually during the month of May. The main purpose of this DT is to provide developmental feedback and produce a list of qualified candidates for key/strategic senior leadership positions within the Air Force Reserve and nominative positions within the Air Force.

It is critical for you to be actively involved in the process and keep your Reserve Enlisted Development Plan current and updated annually so you are ready for these development opportunities. These boards also allow senior leaders the opportunity to assess the development of the enlisted corps and help us shape the future of the Air Force Reserve.

In addition, we have an Enlisted Developmental Education Board that meets each year during the month of May. This board selects Citizen Airmen in the grades of E-6 through E-9 for key developmental educational opportunities and joint courses. It competitively selects applicants determined to be exceptionally qualified based upon the whole-person concept and senior-rater input.

As always, we recognize that our Airmen are the cornerstone of our force. Talking about the new enlisted evaluation system, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody stated, "We have always said that performance counts, and, objectively, now you are going to see it." With your help, we can develop senior enlisted leaders who are ready to meet the needs of our Air Force today and tomorrow. Remember, I'm here for you!