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The Air Force this month will select about 1,000 staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants to fill developmental special-duty assignments.
In a roll call message posted online Nov. 12, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody said the first special-duty selectees will be picked from a pool of roughly 7,500 nominees.
“They are the best of the best — the first to be hand-picked for these roles under the new process,” Cody said. “These airmen will now be in a position to leverage their proven performance across the force. A nomination to a developmental special duty is an honor.”
Those airmen will serve as either military training instructors, recruiters, first sergeants, non-commissioned officer honor guard members, professional military education instructors, career assistance advisers, technical training instructors, NCO Air Force Academy military trainers, military training leaders, and Airmen and Family Readiness Center NCOs.
“Beginning in the recruiter’s office and on through basic training, technical school, Airman Leadership School and many points throughout a career, these airmen will directly guide and develop our force,” Cody said. “They will then head back into their career fields where they will use their added experience to influence countless airmen. This is a big step for our future. It’s a necessary step, and it maximizes the impact and professional growth of our sharpest airmen.”
Cody also urged leaders throughout the Air Force to start thinking about which of their airmen will be the best fit for those positions, and begin talking to them about the possibility of being nominated.
The Air Force has struggled for years to find enough willing volunteers to fill special duty roles. In July, the service switched to a nomination process. Every September and March, commanders now nominate their best performers to serve in developmental special-duty positions.
Airmen currently earn up to $450 per month in special-duty pay, depending on the assignment. Special duties do not yield promotion points, but they can be looked upon favorably at promotion time. However, many airmen see a special-duty assignment as a career-killer because they are taken away from their normal jobs.
In a July interview with Air Force Times, Cody said that contrary to the common view that these assignments hurt airmen, they actually help their promotion chances.