JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Air Force officials are making three substantial changes to the developmental special duty process that will significantly improve the Air Force’s ability to fill these important positions by adding more flexibility to the process and increasing opportunities for NCOs.
The changes include opening military training instructor opportunities to staff sergeants, reverting the technical training instructor process for three-level awarding schoolhouses back to the Enlisted Quarterly Assignment Listing-Plus website and lowering the physical training score for all DSD and TTI positions to the Air Force standard of 75 points versus the former DSD standard of 80.
Rank changes for military training instructors
The change allows staff sergeants to be nominated for military training instructors overseeing basic military training.
This change replaces the 2012 policy that limited the ranks of MTIs to technical and master sergeants.
The DSD process for MTIs will now afford commanders the opportunity to nominate staff sergeants with at least two years’ time in grade for this critically important special duty. This change more appropriately aligns the eligibility aspect of the nomination process with other DSD opportunities that already allow staff sergeants to serve, such as military training leaders, professional military education instructors and recruiters.
“Allowing skilled staff sergeants to once again serve as MTIs provides greater NCO developmental opportunities,” said Chief Master Sgt. Stephanie DeSouza, the Operations and Special Duty Airmen Career Management Division superintendent at the Air Force Personnel Center. “We are confident that mature, experienced staff sergeants have the skill set necessary to thrive as MTIs and better balance the (basic military training) work load.”
There are currently 557 Airmen serving as certified MTIs at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
“MTIs represent the Air Force enlisted corps on a national stage and they are called upon to develop America’s sons and daughters into our next generation of Airmen,” DeSouza said.
Technical training instructor assignment process reverts back to EQUAL Plus
The second change authorizes Airmen interested in volunteering for the Air Force’s TTI duty to volunteer for these positions directly through the EQUAL Plus assignment system. This change became effective June 26, 2017, when the initial group of EQUAL Plus advertisements began appearing live on the Assignment Management System.
“Requirements for these instructors are rank and Air Force specialty code-specific,” said Chief Master Sgt. Dave Staton, the command chief for Air Education and Training Command. “It has been difficult to identify enough of these AFSC-specific, qualified candidates using the DSD nomination process. Through EQUAL Plus, we expect to find qualified candidates in a more timely manner and have the flexibility to react to short-notice changes and requests for fills to include instructor increases.”
Since July 2013, more than 2,700 TTI positions were included in the DSD process along with nine other special duties that were filled utilizing a commander nomination process. Staton said using EQUAL Plus should prove more effective to fill and manage the assignment process for technical school instructors.
Airmen interested in applying to become TTIs can begin looking for positions via AMS after June 25. A large number of TTI positions will be filled over the next year which presents an excellent career opportunity for many Airmen.
PT score changes to 75
Effective the fall 2017 DSD assignment cycle, the physical training test scores will now be set at 75 or above on the previous three assessments, which aligns this requirement with the Air Force standard.
“This change just makes sense for the process,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Anthony Brown, the AETC vice commander. “If you meet Air Force standards, you should be qualified to perform in a DSD or TTI position.
Brown said this change also opens the aperture and allows more Airmen to qualify and compete for these positions “that are so important in professional development.”
Identified as developmental due to their unique leadership roles and the responsibility to mentor and mold young Airmen, the nine DSDs are: career assistance advisor, military training instructor, military training leader, Air Force Academy military training instructor, Airman and Family Readiness Center NCO, first sergeant, Air Force Honor Guard NCO, recruiter and PME instructor.
Developmental special duty qualifications are outlined in the special duty catalog. Additional information about specific rank requirements, nomination eligibility criteria, process and other specifics can be found on myPers under Special Duty Assignment Programs on the Active Duty: Enlisted Assignments Home Page or select “Active Duty Enlisted” from the dropdown menu and search “DSD.”