Need a change? Try a special duty assignment

  • Published
  • By Master Sergeant Nathan M. Pigza
  • 4th Airlift Squadron first sergeant
Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a rut and not being challenged on the job? Like you come to work every day and nothing changes? You may be eligible and qualified right now for one or more Air Force special duty assignments that are sure to change up your current routine. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked in three special duty assignments which have given me three unique perspectives on my Air Force career.

The term special duty is thrown around quite often among Airmen, but many are not familiar with these jobs or how to be selected for them. The Air Force is always seeking Airmen of all ranks to step outside of their current Air Force Specialty Code to fulfill assignments such as military training instructor, recruiter, defense attaché, postal service, presidential airlift, and professional military education instructor, to name a few.

The jobs I have named only scratch the surface of the long list of available jobs out there in our great Air Force. There are even special duties available in your current AFSC, such as technical training instructor, Career Development Course writer, and quality assurance positions.

In my opinion, the best parts of working in a special duty assignment are the experiences and the opportunity to work with people that you normally wouldn't be associated with. Also, many positions require a permanent change of station, so if you have been "stuck" here at McChord and looking for a change, this could be another option to keep you happy while supporting Air Force needs.

My prior career field was Aerospace Ground Equipment, where I was part of the Maintenance Group. I loved my job, and would have been happy to stay in it for the rest of my career, but that would have limited my chance to see the Air Force from a different perspective.

For example, I am currently the first sergeant at the 4th Airlift Squadron where it is my honor and privilege to serve alongside Air Mobility Command's finest operational C-17 aviators. Being part of diverse organizations and taking advantage of opportunities to see and understand the "Big Picture" are the biggest reasons I continue looking for special duty assignments that pique my interests!

The most significant personal result of these jobs is broadening your own professional image and breadth of experience. Becoming a well-rounded Airman in today's Air Force will undoubtedly help you achieve your goals. It is a well-known fact that when it comes time for senior and chief master sergeant boards, the whole-person concept is viewed with high regards.

As with any career decision, I strongly suggest you seek advice from your trusted mentors and supervisors. If you're interested, contact your wing career advisor, Master Sgt. Aaron Weslow, at (253) 982-3395 for more information on how to apply for one of these outstanding opportunities!