MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
With the onset of computerized processes, many of our Air Force career steps fall into place with minimal involvement on our Airmen's part.
These days we sit back while enlisted performance report shells are generated on cue, professional military education is scheduled at the appropriate time and career job reservations flow as Airmen are selected for reenlistment.
The processes are designed to be transparent and require very little from the end user ... so why am I telling you to be involved? Because these procedures affect your career!
The systems we've built are solid, but they manage the careers of more than 300,000 Airmen. That decoration you just earned in all probability will be properly documented in your records ... but on the off chance it's not, don't expect a lot of consideration because you failed to follow through on it.
Taking charge of your career can be as simple as keeping an "I love me" file so when it's time for your supervisor to write your EPR you can help him or her paint an accurate portrait of your exceptional work performance, volunteerism and advanced education.
It can also be as challenging as not waiting for a career job reservation that, based on current force shaping, may or may not show up, but instead stepping outside of your comfort zone and actively pursuing other Air Force occupations and special duties.
In the end, you are your own best career manager. The resources are out there -- from our noncommissioned officers to the wealth of knowledge now available online, there's no excuse not to be an active participant in your Air Force career.
As the Air Force continues its force shaping initiatives, it will remain essential that your records are correct, your EPRs accurately reflect your hard work and that you know and understand all the career options available to you.
Don't wait for the system to generate you a career path ... get involved now. Hooah!