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Scott AFB leadership announces changes to awards instructions

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --

Scott Air Force Base leadership has announced new operating instructions for the 375th Air Mobility Wing’s awards program.

The new Scott AFB Instruction 36-2805 includes big changes to how and when 375th AMW Airmen will submit quarterly awards. The changes do not affect how Scott AFB partner organizations conduct their awards programs.

Chief Master Sgt. Charles Doan, 375th AMW interim command chief, said the changes to the OI were necessary to better reflect how the wing recognizes outstanding performance and to align with the wing commander’s vision and intent.

“These updates have been in the process for a while,” Doan said. “When we dove into this, we realized that the OI itself was outdated and didn’t match our needs for awards, so we overhauled it quite a bit.”

The biggest change in the OI involves the awards timeline. The months that constitute each quarter are now shifted back by one month. So where the fourth quarter used to end in December, it now ends in November.

“A lot of functional awards are due in December,” Doan said. “So we shifted our quarterly awards away from that timeframe so we wouldn’t have quarterly awards on top of all the other awards. Our annual awards will stay the same, but by shifting those months, we de-conflict a lot of things.”

The realignment has an additional benefit, Doan said. It better lines up with the EPR schedule.

“It lines up with some important static close-out dates for EPRs where the traditional calendar year quarters don’t really line up,” he said.  “So somebody can get an award and miss getting it in their EPR until the following year. Now, for example, that fourth quarter ends on the same day as the technical sergeant static close out date. We will have those people selected and we can include it in that EPR. That’s important with technical sergeants meeting boards to promote to master sergeant.”

The new OI also reduces the number of lines on the quarterly awards form 1206 to six instead of 10.

“Reducing the number of lines makes the package a little easier to write,” Doan said. “It will allow the writer to hone in on what’s really relevant. That’s something that helps a lot and will boost the quality of the packages.”

Some of the changes to the OI were made to provide more professional development opportunities. For instance, under the new OI, civilians and company-grade officers will meet formal physical boards for annual awards like enlisted members do, and lower-ranking personnel will now have the opportunity to serve on quarterly award boards and gain valuable experience in the process.

“The formal board process is more for professional development than it is for the overall score,” Doan said. “At some point in our careers and our lives, we’re going to interview for jobs or be put in front of a panel and forced to think on your feet. Boards are a very good way to give someone that experience.”

The OI changes include:

-          Reduced number of lines for quarterly awards form 1206 from 10 to six.

-          Realigned what months constitute a quarter to de-conflict with functional awards and operations-heavy time-frames

-          The addition of annual flight award and a quarterly team award

-          Physical boards for company-grade officers and civilians for annual awards

-          Updated score sheets that can be used across all organizations for consistency

-          Number of acronyms used has been capped at 10

The OI is scheduled to be published by the end of July. The changes will be in effect for the upcoming third quarter awards.

“What we needed was some clarity and predictability in this awards process,” Doan said. “This OI is a very useable product, and it will give you the information you need. The goal is to make the process transparent, straightforward and fair for everyone involved without getting too restrictive.”

Once out, the new OI will be available on Air Force E-Publishing.

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Capt. Timothy Vojak
375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron
Flight Nurse Examiner

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