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Officials change promotion policy regarding senior NCO academy

Effective Jan. 1, a new policy will require the completion of resident Air Force Senior NCO Academy prior to promotion to senior master sergeant.  (U.S. Air Force graphic)

Effective Jan. 1, a new policy will require the completion of resident Air Force Senior NCO Academy prior to promotion to senior master sergeant. (U.S. Air Force graphic)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Completion of the resident Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy or a sister service equivalent will be required for promotion to senior master sergeant effective Jan. 1, an Air Force personnel official said recently.

This policy change supersedes the current policy which requires Air Force SNCO Academy completion for promotion to chief master sergeant, according to Chief Master Sgt. Mark C. Long, chief of enlisted promotions, evaluations and physical fitness in the directorate of force management policy, Headquarters Air Force.

The idea for the policy change originated from the 2008 Enlisted Professional Military Education Triennial Review. Panel members examined enlisted PME attendance across an Airman's career and proposed earlier attendance to produce more capable NCOs, Chief Long said.

The chief master sergeant of the Air Force said the change is to help senior NCOs become better leaders.

"The goal is to provide enlisted (professional military education) at correctly targeted career points," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy. "By providing (enlisted PME) earlier and more evenly spaced over an enlisted Airman's career, we ensure enlisted leaders have the tools they need to be successful sooner and at more relevant periods of their career."

By requiring SNCOA completion for senior master sergeant promotion, master sergeants will obtain increased knowledge and skills to employ as new senior master sergeants. This policy change aligns Air Force enlisted PME requirements with those of the sister services, reduces the time span between NCO Academy and AFSNCOA attendance by approximately two years and increases the return on the investment for AFSNCOA attendance, Chief Long said.

To implement the plan, any remaining senior master sergeants and senior master sergeant selects will attend AFSNCOA before the end of 2009, Chief Long said. Any remaining senior master sergeants without AFSNCOA completed by Jan. 1, will be grandfathered and must attend when able.

Any remaining senior master sergeants unable to attend due to deployments, mission, injury or other reasons must have their unit commanders request a promotion waiver. The member then must attend when available, Chief Long added.
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