FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody addressed several topics during his latest CHIEFchat, including the new enlisted performance report and Course 15, at the Defense Media Activity here.
Cody said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III handed off the task of developing the new EPR form to him and provided guidance on the direction it needed to go. From there, he and the command chiefs at every major command worked with subject matter experts within the personnel system, and Airmen representing all tiers of the enlisted force, to develop the new form.
Cody said countless adjustments have been made based on feedback and recommendations from leadership.
“Once it gets out there, with the tens of thousands of Airmen and supervisors who are going to look at it, we’ll learn some more,” Cody said. “This is big change and it’s going to take time to get it exactly where it needs to be, and that’s OK.”
The chief also acknowledged the criticism on why the form hasn’t been officially released. Some Airmen have had a chance to see a snapshot of the form as it makes its way around the Air Force in the AFPC roadshow.
“The form is not ready to be released. Why? Because it’s a PDF type form,” Cody said. “That’s a smart form, and when you select certain things, it impacts other things on the form. (It is) unlike the forms that we’ve been using (in the past).”
Cody said that because the form is more interactive, officials are currently working on finalizing the scripts that make the form work, which is one of the main reasons it has yet to be released.
He also addressed Airmen’s concerns about Course 15 being a step back instead of progress in professional career development.
“We did take a good hard look at it. That’s why we chose to do this method of delivery in educating the force — only because, first and foremost, it is the proven method with the highest levels of learning,” Cody said.
Course 15, a distance-learning format, will only be one piece of the full NCO academy experience. Airmen will be tested on all the information they’ve received from the course and then, at some point between eight and 12 years of service, they will attend the four-week Intermediate Leadership Experience course, where they’ll discuss and expand upon what they’ve learned with other students and their cadre.
“So the idea here, in a blended approach, is to give you the academics up front in a distance-learning environment, which is learner-centric,” Cody said. “If you know the concepts and you grasp them quicker, (then) you run right through it. If it takes you a little bit longer to get through that, then it takes you longer.”
For students who struggle to understand any of the material, Cody said, they can receive help by reaching out to the service center comprised of subject matter experts. Distance-learning students enrolled in enlisted PME courses can ask questions about the curriculum by submitting a help ticket through the Air University Education Support Center website.
Additionally, having the advanced knowledge of Course 15 before entering the in-residence portion will really jump-start the Intermediate Leadership Experience course, Cody said.
“So we will build on those academics that you received in the distance-learning portion … and take you to higher cognitive levels of understanding of the material,” Cody said. “So, it’s actually a better experience … it really values your time.”
CHIEFchat is a recurring initiative, designed to give Airmen around the world a direct connection to the chief master sergeant of the Air Force. The chief received questions via video message, social media outlets and from members of a studio audience.