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'From the neck up': Academy advertises new enlisted academic instructor positions

Graduation Statistics

The U.S. Air Force Academy released the latest statistics for the Class of 2018, graduating May 23, 2018. (Air Force photo/ Mike Kaplan)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — For the first time in Air Force Academy history, enlisted Airmen will be deliberately hired for faculty teaching positions.

The Air Force Personnel Center began announcing Jan. 23 the need for senior NCOs to fill enlisted academic instructor positions at the school.

While enlisted Airmen have been instructing cadets for decades at the Academy, they have not been directly assigned to the Academy as accredited academic faculty instructors.

Chief Master Sgt. Rob Boyer, Academy command chief, said the move stems from the Academy’s investment in the enlisted force, and the development of our future officers.

“This initiative has grown as a result of decades of enlisted educational growth,” he said. “We want to leverage opportunities for our enlisted Airmen to utilize their advanced education while still serving to contribute even more to the Air Force mission.”

With this move by the Academy, AFPC has created a new duty position.

“This is really exciting for the Academy and the Air Force,” Boyer said. “We know the positive impact our enlisted Airmen have had on our cadets and their massive role and influence in fulfilling our mission. I feel like we’re really setting the standard here for great things to come at the Academy and for our Air Force.”

Master Sgt. Talisa Williams, superintendent of the Academy’s Military Personnel Division, said one just-filled position was for a chief master sergeant to manage enlisted instructors at the institutional level.

“The other two faculty instructor positions are open to senior master sergeants and master sergeants, and can be applied for by visiting the Air Force Assignment Management System,” she said.

Enlisted faculty instructors will be assigned to an academic department at the Academy.

“They’re going to be instructors at an accredited university teaching courses within their degree discipline,” Williams said.

Boyer said the push for accredited enlisted instructors is part of a joint effort by Air University and the Academy to advance the enlisted force education across the Air Force and the modern-day joint-service environment.

“We have to be smarter in how we fight today’s wars,” he said. “We have to exercise what our Airmen bring to the fight and deploy our lethality from the ‘neck up.’ This is an additional opportunity to show our cadets our enlisted Airmen are smart, capable and able to get after today’s complex mission environment with commanders intent.”

‘Where Can I Teach?’

Senior Master Sgt. Sadie Chambers, superintendent of the Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development, holds a master’s in human relations. She’s been teaching leadership courses to cadets since 2017. She’s an accredited instructor authorized by the Academy’s Manpower Office and selected by Boyer to teach while the Academy continued to work with AFPC to create the new position. Chambers said teaching helps her fulfill an obligation held by every NCO: developing Airmen.

“I absolutely love and am humbled by the opportunity to teach cadets in an academic setting,” she said. “I have the awesome responsibility of helping them grow on their leadership journey. We’re here to develop leaders of character and for the past two years, I’ve had a front row seat.”

Just after earning her master’s in May 2017, Boyer encouraged Chambers to team-up with the CCLD and Behavioral Sciences and Leadership while “the details for creating the new Air Force specialty were being “plugged in,” Chambers said.

“I said I’m ready. What can I go teach?” she said.

Before her selection as an instructor, Chambers was the Academy’s religious affairs functional manager. Earlier this year, the Air Force selected her for promotion to chief master sergeant.

Visit www.my.af.mil and click the AMS link for more information. Among other requirements, applicants need to have a master’s or doctorate. The AMS reporting identifier is 9H000.

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