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PME: Critical to developmental education

Patrick AFB, Fla. -- As leaders, one of our most important responsibilities is to grow our next generation of leaders.

In other words, the mentoring of our junior Airmen (officers, enlisted and civilian), to ensure they are ready and responsible enough to handle the positions they will be assuming in the not-so-distant future.

We all know promotions are based on performance in our past and current positions, as well as our potential to serve in a position of higher responsibility.  One thing each of us can do to increase our odds of promotion is to complete our "grade appropriate" education and training.

For our military, that's why we are going all-out to ensure every Airman - officer and enlisted - has the mindset to make Professional Military Education a priority.

Let's face the facts: you are going to have a difficult time going anywhere anytime soon without it.  Sure, it's hard work, but it's sort of like eating your vegetables.  They're not too appealing at first, then you realize just how good they are for you in the end.  PME is the
same - it may not "taste good" at first, but we all come to appreciate its value to our leadership and job performance in the end.

"Experience, education and training. That's how I see I was developed; that's how I see we should develop our Airmen in the future," said Chief Master Sgt. James Roy, CMSAF.
"We've got to do it a little bit differently, though. We've got to change a little bit. When I first came in the Air Force in 1982, we were twice the size we are today. Twice the size. We don't have that luxury anymore," he said.

He's right; we don't have that "numbers" luxury anymore.  But we still have the need - now maybe more than ever - to have the best trained, best educated Air Force in our nation's history. If you are planning to stay in the Air Force for the long haul, there's no better advice than to continually be on the lookout for additional development opportunities.

And we thoroughly expect your chain of command to help you get there.

Do something for you and your family.

And do it soon.

Thanks for all you do.