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Online development plan improving total force career roadmaps

WASHINGTON -- The web-based career tool for total force Airmen, known as My Development Plan, is undergoing changes aimed at positively affecting the Air Force and its members' futures, officials said Sept. 28.

With a total force focus, MyDP is geared to help users make informed decisions about their career with information available at one site. Airman can access MyDP at https://w20.afpc.randolph.af.mil/MyXDP.

MyDP's primary goal is to be the "one-stop shop" for all career-related applications, from career progression to potential job assignments.

Presently, the site averages more than 23,000 user logins per month with members taking advantage of various networking opportunities and discussion forums. Exciting future additions, such as Career Path Tool and enhancements to the existing mentoring application will provide users even more capability to make informed decisions about their careers.

"The Career Path Tool has incredible potential for career development for officers, civilians and enlisted Air Force members," said Patrick Hogan, the Air Force Acquisition Career Management director.

"More importantly, for perhaps the first time, supervisors, coaches, mentors and individuals will soon have one place to look for development paths, position information, projected vacancies and links to other essential career information," Mr. Hogan said. "The power of the interactive tool will facilitate and help integrate both next assignment consideration and long term career development planning."

MyDP already gives individuals instant access to their records, career field information, and a consolidated career summary - all from one website. Members can also use various forums to discuss career-field-specific information or other relevant matters with fellow members throughout the Air Force.

"A quick search in the MyEDP forums will reveal that somebody else has already asked the exact same question I have, which saves a great deal of time," said MyDP user Staff Sgt. Jonathan Rethford, an IT project manager for Air Force Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems. "I would encourage other Airmen to use this resource before making decisions that could have major career impacts."

While there will be noticeable cosmetic improvements to the site in the coming months, such as redesigned menus, the key changes will be found with the relocation of "career impacting" applications to the MyDP application, said Lt. Col. Paul Burger, the Force Development Information Technology Integration chief. "Our goal is to eventually place all career-impacting applications on MyDP, providing easy access for the total force."

The Career Path Tool provides unique capabilities not found in any existing Air Force personnel database or system.

The tool is "a dynamic career pyramid allowing career field managers and assignment teams to more proactively manage the field while providing Airmen the transparency needed to more effectively manage their careers through the capture and display of their experience" said Maj. Jason Johnson, the Force Development Information Technology Integration deputy chief.

"It is interactive, so Airmen can map out jobs, education and training, into a career plan they will be able to share with their mentor in a secure, online environment," Major Johnson said. "These plans will also provide the opportunity for members to devise a career path taking them from present day to a desired future job."

While this won't define the "golden path" to senior leadership, it will give Airmen an indication of what to do to keep them competitive," the major explained.

The CPT will be phased into MyDP beginning this fall, as the Career Field Management teams map their Air Force specialty code duty histories into the tool. As each career field completes its mapping, the teams will make announcements to their members.

Another very beneficial tool within MyDP is the Mentor Network, Colonel Burger said.

"We're working to add the function within the Mentor Network whereby the mentee can share their eRecords with mentors in a secure online environment, giving the mentor the ability to make more informed decisions about a mentee's career," he added.

Airmen can choose to work with several mentors and select a mentor through the Mentor Network within MyDP. If a potential mentor is requested by a mentee and doesn't have a MyDP account, a request message will invite him or her to create one.

With read-only access, a designated mentor can view most of the same screens as the mentee to include the data retrieved from the Military Personnel Data System or the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System. Airmen and mentors can communicate with each other through the My Journal and Goals feature within MyDP.

"MyDP allows Airmen to take a more proactive role in their career development by offering a web-based resource for education-, training-, and experience-related information and opportunities," Colonel Burger said.