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Enlisted force development initiatives approved

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Force Management and Development Council members approved an initiative that will change the way the Air Force grows the next generation of senior enlisted leaders.

The initiative originated with the Enlisted Force Development Panel and will enable the enlisted force to move forward in deliberately developing senior enlisted leaders. Career field leaders will be able to manage enlisted talent and identify the right Airmen, for the right job, at the right time.

This process will evaluate targeted ranks within select Air Force specialty codes and will vector senior NCOs who have the right training, education, and experience to critical positions within their career fields. AFPC still remains the assignment authority, but will consider the Airmen's vector when matching for assignments.

FMDC officials also approved an EFDP initiative requiring NCO Academy attendance prior to pinning on technical sergeant, another huge breakthrough. This initiative will provide NCOs the leadership skills they need earlier in their career, better preparing them to lead our Airmen. To enable this decision to become a reality, the FMDC approved expanding NCOA capacity by 16 additional classrooms at existing locations. The exact locations will be determined by a site activation task force in the near future. Officials say there is still much work to be done prior to increasing NCOA throughput and before implementation of a new policy.

Interim updates will be provided as the initiative progresses. Final guidance will be provided to the field once the necessary ground work has been completed. While it will take some time for this initiative to come to fruition, the FMDC is confident the chosen path is the right one for the Air Force.

The FMDC is a corporate body providing an institutional perspective on Air Force-wide force management and development issues and makes strategic level recommendations to the secretary of the Air Force and chief of staff of the Air Force. The FMDC has several subordinate bodies to include the EFDP, which provides recommendations relating to effective development and utilization of Airmen.

Enlisted members can also join discussions with fellow Airmen across the Air Force on these initiatives and other professional development issues by participating in the discussion forums in My Enlisted Development Plan.

Visit the Air Force Force Development Portal to learn more about the FMDC and EFDP or to participate in MyEDP discussion forums. To get to the force development website, first go to the Air Force Portal and follow the login prompts. From the Air Force Portal landing page, select "Force Development" from the "Life and Career" menu located in the blue global navigation bar at the top of the page. Once at the Force Development landing page, use the navigation tabs located on the left side of the screen to select FD Governance for information about the FMDC and EFDP or My Development Plan to participate in the various discussion forums.

For more information, call 703-692-5560.

(Chief Master Sgt. Terry West contributed to this article)