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AFSPC command chief, Vandenberg Airmen talk AF future

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Chief Master Sgt. Douglas McIntyre, Air Force Space Command command chief, speaks during a wing non-commissioned officer and senior NCO call here Wednesday, July 31, 2013. McIntyre spoke to Airmen about a variety of topics including special duty assignments, enlisted performance reports, and the physical fitness test standards. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Chief Master Sgt. Douglas McIntyre, Air Force Space Command command chief, speaks during a wing non-commissioned officer and senior NCO call here Wednesday, July 31, 2013. McIntyre spoke to Airmen about a variety of topics including special duty assignments, enlisted performance reports, and the physical fitness test standards. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Chief Master Sgt. Douglas McIntyre, Air Force Space Command command chief, speaks during a wing non-commissioned officer and senior NCO call here Wednesday, July 31, 2013. McIntyre spoke to Airmen about a variety of topics including special duty assignments, enlisted performance reports, and the physical fitness test standards. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Chief Master Sgt. Douglas McIntyre, Air Force Space Command command chief, speaks during a wing non-commissioned officer and senior NCO call here Wednesday, July 31, 2013. McIntyre spoke to Airmen about a variety of topics including special duty assignments, enlisted performance reports, and the physical fitness test standards. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Yvonne Morales)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Chief Master Sgt. Douglas McIntyre, Air Force Space Command command chief, speaks with members of the 381st Training Group here Wednesday, July 31, 2013. McIntyre spoke about the modern Air Force environment and future expectancies, a major theme during his tour at Vandenberg AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Mercury Guemo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Chief Master Sgt. Douglas McIntyre, Air Force Space Command command chief, speaks with members of the 381st Training Group here Wednesday, July 31, 2013. McIntyre spoke about the modern Air Force environment and future expectancies, a major theme during his tour at Vandenberg AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Mercury Guemo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif -- The Air Force Space Command command chief visited with Vandenberg Airmen of diverse skill sets July 31 in separate sessions throughout the day, and a few common questions emerged.

Chief Master Sgt. Douglas McIntyre, AFSPC command chief, spoke to Airmen about a variety of topics and trending questions included, special duty assignments, enlisted performance reports, and the physical fitness test standards.

During the first sergeant panel, one first sergeant asked, "If the criterion to make senior [master sergeant] is really to be a highly effective leader, does it matter whether or not I'm leading a flight or that I'm a first sergeant or a squadron superintendent? It seems that there is such a disparity between making rank in the special duties compared to our primary career field."

Chief Master Sgt. Patrick McMahon, 14th Air Force command chief, stepped in to answer that question.

"The promotion will always default to your sustained performance over 10 years," McMahon said. "If we are looking at records, I know for a fact if you're a first sergeant in the Air Force you have three years of leadership and that's hard to compete with when you go back to your functional community. Now not only do you have depth functionally but breathe as well."

Where as many Air Force first sergeants volunteer or are directed to do that special duty assignment, Airmen will now have to be recommended and accepted by their major command before their packages are sent to the Air Force Personnel Center.

"We want to make sure that the best people for the job are in those special duty positions," McIntyre said.

Expanding career opportunities was not the only expansion issue on Vandenberg Airmen's minds.

During a wing non-commissioned officer and senior NCO call, an NCO from the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron asked, "Have you heard anything about taking out the waist tape measurement [for the Air Force Physical Training test]?"

The answer came down to decibels.

"Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, James Cody, had a team review the waist measurement portion of the fitness test because the force told him we were kicking people out with big waists," McIntrye said. "1.2 million tests were reviewed and there were only 700 who failed because of waist alone. Of those, ultimately 32 to 34 people were discharged. That means that .006 percent... based on this, he decided to keep the waist measurement. Now, those who fail the waist measurement will be allowed to have their body mass index tested and if they pass that, they're good."

Though the waist measurement stays, one other requirement may be on its way out.

"The Air Force is also thinking of getting rid of the heart monitor for walk tests," McIntrye said. "It still has to be approved, but I think that's probably what's going to happen."

The MAJCOM command chief also hinted that a major change may be on the horizon for AF's top enlisted ranks.

"A few months ago we did a supplemental board for master sergeants as we do for senior [master sergeants] and chief [master sergeants]," McIntyre said. "Of those tech[nical] sergeant packages scored [during the mock board], there was a 24 percent difference in promotion rate difference between who made the promotion list and who made the board's list. The biggest differences were at the top of the list and the bottom of the list. Some folks who had a lot of time in grade and time in service promoted, but when the board opened their records, they weren't strong and they did not promote. The Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force liked it, now all we have to do is figure out how to execute."

Though he spoke of changes that would affect the entire Air Force, the chief urged Vandenberg Airmen to remember their mission and how their jobs fit into the space command's mission.

"At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what your job is, we are all of part of the Air Force Space Command mission set," said McIntyre. "The marine down range picks-up his secure phone in Afghanistan and assumes it's going to work and that bomb will be dropped...that's all part of space command's mission. A lot of government entities cannot do their job without us."