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Chief’s View: Opportunities better prepare you for the future

Chief Master Sgt. Cameron B. Kirksey

Chief Master Sgt. Cameron B. Kirksey

Citizen Airman/Apr. 2014 -- Last commentary, I introduced my three focus areas -- team unity, team opportunities and team wellness -- and highlighted how team unity is focused around the mission you do every day. Now I'd like to talk about team opportunities and what that means to each of you. Simply stated, team opportunities is about increasing options, especially those centered around force development, for our Air Force Reserve team members.

Many impressive Airmen have stories about how they received an unexpected call to do some great task. Through proactive preparation and development, they paved the way for an opportunity to present itself. Opportunities may not always appear in a neat little package. But, by looking for and taking advantage of different opportunities, you'll be more prepared to take on future challenges.

The goal of force development is to unlock, build and refine the potential that exists in our Airmen and turn it into tangible skills, qualifications and experiences to prepare you for future opportunities. Force development is not just for E-8s or E-9s but every one of our enlisted members. The first and most important thing you can do is develop depth by building a strong foundation of expertise within your Air Force specialty code.

One area of new emphasis for the enlisted force is special duties. Special duties range from being a military training instructor, career adviser or first sergeant to a group superintendent or command chief. These positions take you out of your primary job and add breadth to your career. Special duties become important stepping stones as you are considered for promotion in the future.

For my part, I'm diligently working to increase opportunities by exploring different developmental options with the active duty, the sister services and our international partners. I'm continuing to advocate for training slots and ensure funding is available for our enlisted force. Also, I'm working with the staffs and our development teams to increase key and strategic opportunities for our high performers.

I ask all enlisted Airmen to embrace enlisted force development and actively seek out opportunities to continue your development. Also, take time to fill out your Reserve Enlisted Development Plan and make your goals known. The more information you provide, the better vectors your development team can give you.

We are the best Air Force Reserve in the world because of you, our Citizen Airmen. By strengthening our individual members, we exponentially strengthen our team.

I'm here for you!