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Force generators: Leaders behind the success, growth of Airmen

Graphic containing images of Force Generators along with text that contains statistical averages of Force Generators' promotion rates.

Valuing Force Generators Graphic

Maj. Alex Barnett, former Air University instructor and current student in the Air Command and Staff College experience, talks about his time teaching in the Squadron Officer School realm and how that shaped him as the incoming commander of the 436th Maintenance Squadron commander at Dover Air Force Base. To learn more about Developmental Special Duty Assignments visit the Developmental Special Experiences catalog on MyVECTOR. The DSE Catalog is a consolidated list of available opportunities for Department of the Air Force officers, enlisted and civilians that enables members to grow professionally. The catalog is maintained by the Force Development Credentialing Division within Air Education and Training Command. Developmental Special Experiences are learning activities outside the scope of formal training that have been validated as a potential means to obtain specific foundational, occupational, or joint competencies.   Department of the Air Force personnel can access the DSE Catalog through MyVECTOR at https://myvector.us.af.mil/myvector/DevelopmentPlan/Home, or once logged in, select “Development Plan” on the left-hand side menu option and then click on “DSE Catalog” tab. To apply for a DSE, contact the listed point of contact for the specific DSE and follow the application process.

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – To maintain the competitive edge over adversaries, the Air Force must select the best Airmen to train and educate the next generation of Airmen. 

“We are targeting the highest performers to become force generators,” said Chief Master Sgt. Erik Thompson, AETC command chief master sergeant. “In exchange for sending their best to instruct, we will return them to their career field with improved leadership skills, new confidence and so many more key developmental traits that will make them more outstanding Airmen.”

Maj. Alex Barnett, former Squadron Officer School instructor at Air University, shared how his experience as an instructor better prepared him to become the incoming commander of the 436th Maintenance Squadron at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

“As an instructor I saw 14 new students every cycle, each with their own challenges,” said Barnett. “Managing them all equipped me with the capability to communicate with a variety of Airmen from different AFSCs. Now, when I become a commander I can use these networking competencies to ensure I can get my Airmen everything they need to do their jobs.”

Not only do force generator positions provide skills and knowledge, promotion averages in the last 10 years have been above average:

  • Promotion to chief master sergeant at a rate of 6.3% over the Air Force average.
  • Promotion to senior master sergeant at a rate of 4.6% over the Air Force average.
  • Promotion to master sergeant at a rate of 8.4% over the Air Force average.

Airmen volunteer for force generator positions, which are developmental special duty assignments. According to the Developmental Special Duty Program Personnel Services Delivery guide, the DSD program develops leaders by requiring that they oversee and mentor multiple Airmen, and that they ensure the well-being of those mentees and their families.

“AETC provides our force generators world-class training that enables them to become strategically-minded, agile and complex problem-solvers,” Thompson said. “These leaders pave the way, modeling the Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.”

Learn more about the DSD program requirements, eligibility and assignment cycles by visiting https://mypers.af.mil/ (common access card required for access).

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