ARPC offers hot tips to advance officers' careers

DENVER -- As the Air Force slashes 40,000 Airmen from its books to fund aircraft modernization, officers scramble to be retained and promoted.

A successful career requires many components, often referred to as the whole-person concept. It requires solid performance, demonstrating leadership, performing collateral duties, participating in deployment rotations, and continuing education.

In the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, officers document these accomplishments on their officer selection record, available on the virtual military personnel flight and the virtual Personnel Center - Guard and Reserve.

Air Reserve Personnel Center's Promotion Board Secretariat compiled the following suggestions to help Reserve officers keep their records current and advance their careers.

Officers should ensure their performance reports and decorations are filed in the officer selection record. The existence of these documents in the vMPF and military personnel data system does not guarantee they are also in the selection record. 

Officers should check their military personnel files every six months. They have access to their records review rip and their data verification brief on vMPF under "Personal Information." 

Airmen meeting a board should receive officer preselection briefs about four months before the board. The brief is sent to the Airman's servicing MPF, which then distributes it to the Airman. 

Officers should review their preselection brief immediately upon receipt for any errors or missing information. It is the Airman's responsibility to ensure the brief's accuracy. The selection brief is printed three days before the board convenes. If all corrections are completed, the selection brief should mirror the preselection brief. 

Units can send an authorized representative to ARPC to take an inventory of records of officers in their unit who are projected to meet a board in the upcoming year. 

Second lieutenants through lieutenant colonels can gain unique insight to the promotion process by volunteering as a promotion board administrative assistant. For volunteer information, visit http://arpc.afrc.af.mil/promotions and click on "Information Links." 

The ARPC Web site promotion page at http://arpc.afrc.af.mil/promotions has a wealth of information. Officers eligible for promotion can gain knowledge from the frequently asked questions section, eligibility tables and ARPC messages. "The Guard and Reserve Personnel Fact Sheets" can also be useful. 

Officers are encouraged to periodically review Air Force Instruction 36-2504, Officer Promotion, Continuation and Selective Early Removal in the Reserve of the Air Force, to understand the board process and eligibility requirements as well as the various types of promotion boards. 

may call the Reserve Personnel Contact Center at 800-525-0102 to request a copy of their Officer Selection Record before meeting a board. Please allow a minimum of 30 
days for processing the request.

The most successful officers ... 
Have received a decoration within the last three years. 

Ensure academic education is updated with Air Force Institute of Technology. 

Have developmental education commensurate with rank. 

Have applicable prior-service documents in records. R Ensure duty history is correct. 

Update deployment data if deployed for more than 45 days after Sept. 11, 2001. 

Make sure flying data is correct. 

Keep participation points correct. 

Write a letter to the board if something needs further explanation.