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Air Force Materiel Command news service (April 3, 2006): AFMC civilian course gains other commands' interest.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- Representatives from three commands plan to meet with Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command professional development staff here in May to discuss adapting the AFMC Orientation Course for their commands. Leadership from the three commands, Air Mobility Command, Air Education and Training Command, and Air Force Space Command, have expressed interest in developing a similar course for their civilian workforce.

While the course is significant to AFMC because its workforce is nearly 70 percent civilian, other commands recognize the benefits of giving their civilians the same opportunity through a similar course. The orientation course, which has five sections, covers basic Air Force heritage, customs, and courtesies.

"The purpose of the meeting is to develop a strategy and implementation plan to share and transfer the contents of the orientation course so that they can deliver the course to their employees," said Sherre Collier, chief of leadership development in the AFMC Headquarters Personnel Directorate, which spearheaded the course's development.

"We will also be developing a draft of a proposed Air Force policy for expansion Air Force-wide upon completion of the test to transfer the program to these three commands," Collier said.

The course takes about eight hours to complete. Four of the five sections can be accomplished at a computer. The section about Air Force core values is taught in a classroom and is being added to many civilian orientation programs, AFMC officials said.

The course was introduced to AFMC civilians March 3. The idea for the course came from an emphasis by AFMC leadership on education and training for the civilian workforce. Air Force civilians were not receiving any Air Force background or history once they were hired. They simply processed into their units and began doing their jobs without any real knowledge about the organization that employed them, officials said.

"Our military colleagues have always had this experience in basic military training or commissioning sources, but our civilian hires were left on their own to learn as they went," said Barbara Westgate, AFMC executive director. "Now our civilian workforce will have this same opportunity."

Together, the five modules make up part one of the course, or Spiral 1. The modules are Air Force heritage and today; AFMC heritage and today; Air Force customs and courtesies; Air Force core values; and Air Force core competencies.

AFMC civilians are awarded the new Air Force civilian pin when they complete the first five modules of the course. The pin is about the size of a nickel, pewter in color, and is dominated by the Air Force symbol. It recognizes the pride and dedication in civil service and a commitment to civilian professional development, Collier said.

Testing and delivery of Spiral 2 is scheduled for October, Westgate said. Spiral 2 consists of an additional three modules: force development; workforce health, safety, and security; and personnel administration.

Baldwin is with Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs.

Capt. Paul Baldwin, USAF
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Title Annotation:Career Development
Author:Baldwin, Paul
Publication:Defense AT & L
Date:Jul 1, 2006
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