E-5 promotion testing set to begin

Staff Sgt. Brian Hill
Kaiserslautern American

Promotion testing for Airmen eligible to test for staff sergeant begins in May. Officials here believe the more everyone understands how the Weighted Airman Promotion System – or WAPS – operates, the more those eligible will benefit in achieving promotion.

Once notified of eligibility, Airmen are encouraged to check to see they were properly identified as eligible, and ensure information is accurate on their individual data verification record. This can be accomplished through the individual’s orderly room and then on the Virtual MPF Web site, located at www.afpc.randolph.af.mil. Also, the promotion cutoff date was March 31.

This means all enlisted performance reports, decorations and Air Force specialty code data should have been closed out or be in effect on or before that date.

Airmen can pick up all current, necessary study materials at their orderly room.

According to Master Sgt. Rudolph Warner, 435th Mission Support Squadron, self-discipline in study habits is essential. Without it, chances of non-selection for promotion increase exponentially.

In addition, Sergeant Warner said the base education center – through adult continuing education – provides a class for military members on study skills.
“Begin studying as soon as eligible but no later than six months prior to testing cycle,” Sergeant Warner said. “The more you prepare, the further you will set yourself apart from your peers. Build a study schedule and, no matter what, stick with it.”

Supervisors and NCOs play a role in WAPS testing as well.
“Set standards and encourage troops to work toward earning the highest possible score on their EPRs,” said Sergeant Warner. “Let your troops know where they stand and what they need to do to earn that coveted stripe. Check to ensure that your troop has the current study material and allow them any study time that you can allow. Teach time management skills.”

The recommended amount of study time for WAPS testing is one hour per day, but Sergeant Warner said each individual must judge how much time they need based on their study habits and level of comprehension.

Besides good study habits and strong EPRs, awards and decorations count as points toward promotion.

“Decorations are scored for WAPS based on a point system outlined in the (Performance Fitness Exam),” Sergeant Warner added. “Service Achievement Medals or higher have point values awarded. An exception is the Air Force Recruiter Ribbon – 2 points. The more medals one has, the more points toward promotion – not to exceed 25 total points for decorations.”
Sergeant Warner stresses the importance of the PFE to all Airmen.

“The PFE is the guidebook of the Air Force,” he said. “Information found within its pages is essential for the successful accomplishment of the Air Force mission. It is the foundation for development of professional military leaders and managers – it is the catalyst for what we do and why we do it. It creates the structure that is necessary to ensure effective application of training, guidance and resources by all personnel across the Air Force. It is also inherent to the standardization of values, practical knowledge and traditions practiced in today’s Air Force.”

Selections are scheduled to be released in August. Those selected will be promoted during the period of Sept. 1 through Aug. 1, 2006.

Questions can be directed to the military personnel flight promotions office.