Air Force Reserve Command is working on a new program designed to maximize the potential of its Airmen as they chart their future careers. It encourages them to forward their desires up the chain of command, and will prepare future air and space leaders to seize the opportunities afforded them by matching their talents and strengths with the needs of the Air Force.
Since the Reserve Force Development program launched in May, 14 Development Team meetings have been held at the Air Reserve Personnel Center here.
"Reserve Force Development is a program designed to deliberately develop our most important asset - our people - through a series of experiences, challenges, education and training," said Lt. Gen. John A. Bradley, chief, Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command. "This program is specifically tailored to the Citizen Airman construct. It means deliberately developing and shaping the careers of our people while respecting their time and volunteerism."
While Reserve Force Development will eventually encompass the whole Reserve population, the first step in the process is developing the abilities of our officer corps, said Lt. Col. Vince Bugeja, Air Reserve Personnel Center's force development division chief.
"Each Career Field Manager establishes a Development Team consisting of senior leaders within the career field," Colonel Bugeja said. "The Development Teams meet periodically at ARPC to provide counsel to officers on possible educational and assignment opportunities"
Development Teams use the online Reserve Officer Development Plan to provide deliberate counsel to the Active Guard Reserve, Individual Mobilization Augmentees, Air Reserve Technicians and Unit reservists.
"If people don't have their R-ODPs completed, it's almost like we have to do detective work," said Col. John Hickok, a member of the team who is assigned to Air Force Reserve Command. "We have to base our recommendations on what we can find in officer performance reports and what we would want if we were in their shoes."
While some Airmen may not be aware of the plan, others simply choose not to fill it out.
"There are a lot of officers who think that if they fill out their plan, they are going to be involuntarily selected for an assignment out of their local area. That's simply not true," Colonel Bugeja said. "For reservists, Force Development is not 'forced' development - our program must adhere to the Citizen Airman construct that is at the core of our program."
One of the first questions on the plan asks if an Airman is willing to change his or her unit or assignment location. If the answer is "no," this does not mean the team stops looking at helping the Airman, he said.
"We want to give every Airman a chance to meet his or her career aspirations," Colonel Bugeja said. "It doesn't matter if he wants to stay in place or travel the world."
To further assist the teams, Airmen are asked about their educational goals, unique work experience, special qualifications, and specific near-, mid- and long-term goals. Development Team members counsel all officers and help them achieve their goals.
To submit or review a development plan or to see a listing of when the next meeting is for specific career fields, visit the ARPC Force Development Web site at http://arpc.afrc.af.mil/forcedevelopment
People may get more information by calling 800-525-0102 and asking for the force development division.