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How do you stack up?

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA -- With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it's important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well.

The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a harder look at the member's sustained performance. Some may believe that this will lead to a decrease in the weight given to personnel who volunteer or pursue higher education; however, don't be fooled into thinking the "whole person" concept is going away.

Volunteering and pursuing a higher education will still be an important factor to getting promoted, but more importantly, it is not going to be about the one or two times you volunteered throughout the year. Up for consideration will be in what capacity you volunteered, and were you rewarded in some way for your efforts?

It won't be that you just received a Community College of the Air Force degree and are now actively working toward a bachelor's. It will be "what are you striving to get a bachelor's degree in?" Will it be something that will benefit the Air Force, or does it benefit only you?

I think most would agree that if they looked across their section, they would see hard-working, technically proficient Airmen. So if you had to separate everyone by their rank and stack them against each other, what would set them apart after you got past the job performance? It's safe to say that within a unit there are going to be people who just stand out among their peers. When you get past those few, it becomes harder and harder to separate them.

When it comes to volunteering, the degree of involvement in the bigger projects can be perceived more significant than the amount of times or hours put in. Likewise, pursuing a degree beyond your CCAF that supports your specialty code will become more important. Winning quarterly and annual awards will become more important. It will be these things that will set you apart from the rest.

I think this change to our EPR and promotion system will force supervisors at all levels to look at their subordinates and see where they really need to grow to become future leaders. Whether it is a lack of job knowledge, CCAF or volunteering, it will show in their records, and it will have an impact on whether they are deemed promotable.

So where do you stack up amongst your peers? This is a question you should ask yourself and your supervisor daily.