MOODY AIR FORCE BASE – Current and prior special-duty personnel shared their knowledge with airmen during a Developmental Special Duty expo.
Due to their unique leadership roles, the U.S. Air Force has identified 10 special duties as enlisted developmental positions: career assistance advisor, military training instructor, military training leader, Air Force Academy military training instructor, airman and Family Readiness Center noncommissioned officer, first sergeant, Air Force Honor Guard NCO, recruiter, professional military education instructor and specialty training instructors identified with a “T” prefix.
Not only do DSDs provide the opportunity to seek out a different career path, they offer several other benefits as well.
“You get exposure to higher headquarters leadership, it promotes professional development and gives individuals a different perspective of the Air Force,” said Tech. Sgt. George Roberts, 23rd Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance chief.
These opportunities give airmen a chance to see outside their career field, expand their point of view and help them grow as professionals.
“I got a better general understanding of how other career fields operate,” said Master Sgt. Jason Olds, 23rd Logistics Readiness Squadron fuel superintendent and prior military training leader. “My job was to make sure I left the Air Force better than how it was during my time. Becoming an MTL broadened my horizons and helped shape my leadership identity.”
There are many benefits to doing a DSD and Master Sgt. Derek Longshore, 23rd Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor, recommends these steps if an airman is interested in a DSD position:
– Create a MyFSS and MyVector account to receive targeted messages related to DSDs.
– Let their chain of command know they are interested in a DSD position and nomination
– Reach out to other airmen who have done a DSD to find out more information about the duties, lifestyle, etc.
– Head to myPers and look at the PSDG DSD (14 Jan 2022) document for more information
– Reach out to your career assistance advisor for any additional questions
Developmental special duties are temporary in nature. They are performed for a period of up to three to four years and focus on nominating staff, technical and master sergeants.
Taking a career path detour can be a big decision, but when asked what advice he has for airmen that were on the fence, Olds had guidance to give.
“Take that leap and step outside of your comfort zone, because it’ll really open you up to new opportunities and help shape the person that you’re meant to be.”