(U.S. Air Force graphic)

Yes. It’s mathematically possible.

Enter basic military training with some college, CAP or JROTC under your belt and A1C is sewn on for Graduation Day. Make SrA Below-the-Zone and sew on before the cutoff date and you’re promotion eligible for Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.

There’s a long-standing debate of whether someone is “ready” for the next rank, regardless of how soon or fast they are selected to advance.

I’ll quote CMSAF Wright when he said: “Leadership isn’t about rank or position. It’s not about having all the answers. It’s about getting into the trenches and taking care of your people… Never discount what you bring to your team.”

Yes, there will be those a bit “salty” for what seems to be a faster-than-light promotion system, but let’s think of just some of the factors that got us here.

The Air Force NEEDS more NCOs. This isn’t a want… It’s a nessesity.  15 years of combat operations will do that to any military.  Our front-line ranks need replenishing.

So what now? Do we scoff at the hyper-green soon-to-be SSgt? Nope.  Not even a little bit. That’s just counterproductive towards our team goal. We can’t fly, fight or win anything if we are at odds with our own people.

What we NEED are mentors. And we needed them yesterday. If you are a mentor to someone who is junior to you and are downloading every bit of professional development that you’ve received into your Airman, you’re doing your part. The only way that we’re going to see a stronger, faster, and more committed force is when we act like a team. Again, the Air Force is going to promote people based on the system we have.  And for those selected with minimal time in service… moving up from JV to Varsity is going to have it’s own challenges that they will have to deal with and grow from.  The question is: Are you doing your part to make the team…work?

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