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Cross-training, it's more about preparation than luck

Master Sgt. Aaron Weslow, McChord Field career assistance advisor, provides career advice to a staff sergeant at the education office at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 30, 2013. Weslow helps Airmen with providing them career assistance advice on topics ranging from cross-training to separations.

Master Sgt. Aaron Weslow, McChord Field career assistance advisor, provides career advice to a staff sergeant at the education office at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 30, 2013. Weslow helps Airmen with providing them career assistance advice on topics ranging from cross-training to separations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jacob Jimenez)

Master Sgt. Aaron Weslow, McChord Field career assistance advisor, provides career advice to a staff sergeant at the education office at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 30, 2013. Weslow helps Airmen with providing them career assistance advice on topics ranging from cross-training to separations.

Master Sgt. Aaron Weslow, McChord Field career assistance advisor, provides career advice to a staff sergeant at the education office at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 30, 2013. Weslow helps Airmen with providing them career assistance advice on topics ranging from cross-training to separations.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Did you join the Air Force to become a firefighter but instead became a security forces member? Did you join to work in the legal office but instead the Air Force decided they needed you to work in the safety office? Are you ready for a career change by cross-training into a new Air Force Specialty Code?

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions or you know that you are ready for a new challenge in your career, then here are the most common questions answered when it comes to cross-training.

"A common issue I encounter is that someone is not doing well in their job and they think they're ready for a change in AFSC," said Master Sgt. Aaron Weslow, McChord Field career assistance advisor. "There are seven primary questions that should be answered before a member can be considered for retraining."

According to Weslow the questions a member should ask before considering applying for a cross train are: most current enlisted performance report, current grade, projected grade, next three EPRs, date of rank, total active federal military service date and armed services vocational aptitude battery scores.

He says knowing the information for these seven areas before applying for a cross train will enhance any Airman's opportunity to a successful cross train to a new career. To emphasize this point, he provided some recommendations.

"So who are you competing with? Imagine some anonymous Airman, maybe one who doesn't want to reenlist in a job they're in - just considers themselves a bad fit for the job," said Weslow. "Some of those anonymous Airmen might want to separate and take their life in a different direction, unless they were stuck."

"Finances, family, scared, bad civilian economy prospects, no marketable skills or degree - many people find themselves 'stuck' for some reason and will take any AF job possible. Those are the people you're competing with for the quotas, and if they have completed their homework and have the seven questions answered, they'll get the slot."

Weslow recommends Airman to be competitive, work hard, study and make rank, learn their job and then become a leader in that job. He recommends reading the professional development guide, reading and becoming fluent in their career development course guides, completing a degree, and staying fit and financially responsible.

"Don't be one of those who are stuck. Wait for your normal window as a proven, successful, driven staff sergeant, and go then to whatever job you want - as a viable candidate for anything out there."

For more information on those seven areas, cross-training or for any career assistance, contact Master Sgt. Weslow at 982-3395.