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Career assistance advisor poised to mentor Airmen

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – An Air Force career assistance advisor’s responsibility is to assist enlisted Airmen with professional enhancement opportunities.

Master Sgt. Eddie Escamilla, an 18-year Air Force veteran who most recently served as the 66th Medical Squadron’s Operations Flight chief, has assumed that role at Hanscom.

“As the career assistance advisor, I will manage information concerning a variety of professional military education opportunities and other programs that will help Airmen succeed in their jobs and in their careers,” he said. “My job is to ensure that Airmen have the facts when making career decisions.”

Escamilla knows the importance of having those facts because, after his first enlistment as an F-16 crew chief, he cross-trained to the Aerospace Medical Service.

“As a young airman I do remember going to FTAC [First Term Airman Center] and meeting the career assistance advisor,” he said. “He provided a lot of valuable career information that helped me navigate the cross-training process at the end of my first enlistment.”

Chief Master Sgt. Henry Hayes, Hanscom’s command chief, selected Escamilla to replace Master Sgt. John Fisher, who will retire later this month.

“The career advisor cannot be stuck on ‘what I have experienced’ and ‘what I like most,’” said Hayes. “There will be times when he will need to soak in the information that’s been told to him, have a general knowledge of AFSCs [Air Force Specialty Codes] and career paths and be able to say ‘I think that matches based on assessments of personality, strengths and needs versus weakness,’ and then guide the member.”

The CAA position is among 10 Developmental Special Duties that mentor and mold future leaders, according to an Air Force Personnel Center factsheet on the program. In addition to the career assistance advisor, recruiters, first sergeants and military training instructors are among these hard-to-fill special duty assignments.

Escamilla, who is working on his doctorate degree, discussed how he hopes to make a positive impact at Hanscom and for the Air Force.

“It’s not really about me, it’s about enlisted Airmen coming in to see me and assisting them in their professional development,” he said. “They’re not going to stay at Hanscom forever. They’re going to participate in our programs and then PCS [permanent change of station] to a new assignment and influence other Airmen across the Air Force.”

The CAA here oversees the First Term Airman Center, NCO Performance Enhancement Course, Senior NCO Performance Enhancement Course, as well as lunch-and-learn workshops on a wide range of topics. Another program he will manage is the Informed Decision Seminar for Airmen considering leaving service.

“We need Airmen to be the best citizens that they can be when they leave the uniform,” said Hayes. “Sergeant Escamilla’s position as career advisor is not just stay, stay, stay [in the Air Force]; it is for Airmen to be equipped for the next chapter of their lives.”

For further information, or to schedule an appointment, contact Escamilla at 781-225-5935 or by email at eddie.escamilla@us.af.mil.

To learn more about the DSD program, visit http://www.afpc.af.mil/Assignment/Developmental-Special-Duty/.