JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – The Air Force’s Personnel Center has created a self-registration scheduling system for all in-residence enlisted professional military education courses for active-duty noncommissioned officers.
The new scheduling system allows NCOs to choose when they attend the NCO Academy, Senior NCO Academy and Chief Leadership Course once they have been notified they are eligible to attend. Resident EPME completion became required for promotion to the ranks of staff, master and chief master sergeant beginning with the 2018 promotion cycle.
“From my perspective, the self-registration platform will be beneficial by providing more individual ownership to an enlisted member's PME," said Master Sgt. Eddie Escamilla, installation career assistance advisor at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. "Empowering our members to select a date adds to the predictability of the course, and enables the member to incorporate their PME while maintaining balance between their professional and personal lives."
Eligible NCOs will receive an email from myPers in either June or December depending on when they become eligible. They will have 60 days to prioritize their preferred class dates for school attendance by first, second and third choice within a six-month window of available class dates from which to choose.
“For example, NCOs receiving their notification email this month will see a scheduling window for April through September of 2020,” said Master Sgt. Jeremy Davey, EPME policy and program manager at AFPC. “The next window will include classes with start dates from October 2020 through March 2021 for those receiving the notification email next June.”
The system saves the NCO’s choices and once the self-registration deadline has passed, AFPC begins scheduling those who responded, in order of preference and availability. AFPC will then fill any remaining open seats with those eligible Airmen who did not respond to the self-registration requirement, based on rank and time-in-grade.
Davey stressed the need for NCOs to check their myPers profiles to ensure their current military email address is listed as the primary contact resource. “If your email is current, you’ll receive a message when the system says you meet the eligibility requirements for your next EPME opportunity. Simply follow the link and make your selections. If you choose not to respond, you’ll be scheduled into the remaining class dates.”
Some NCOs previously completed their respective Distance Learning Course and were ineligible to attend resident EPME due to time-in-service restrictions, Davey said. Those NCOs will not receive an eligibility email as they have already completed their EPME requirement for that rank.
The self-registration system also offers a “Not Available” option due to a medical, personal hardship, mission or “other” requirement.
“We want Airmen to have the option to make decisions that make sense for themselves and their units, tailored to each individual situation and their mission needs," Hoglund said.
Airmen with questions about their EPME eligibility should contact their local Formal Training Office for assistance. If necessary, the FTO will elevate the case to the appropriate office at AFPC. For more information about EPME, visit the Enlisted Force Development page on myPers or the AFPC public website at https://www.afpc.af.mil/Force-Development/EPME/.
(Editors note: 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs Office contributed to this article)