By Capt. Savannah Stephens, Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs
/ Published September 21, 2020
The inaugural Air Force Special Operations Command Civilian Development Program was launched in July to deliberately develop the civilian workforce to meet ever-increasing challenges and the changing environment. Selectees were announced for six different programs on Aug. 11, 2020.
“The program is intended to promote a culture that develops and retains a highly capable workforce preparing for the ‘AFSOC We Need’ in line with the 2020 AFSOC Strategic Guidance,” said Danny White, Chief, Education Operations Branch, AFSOC A1.
The Civilian Development Team was created to provide strategic guidance for civilian development efforts and synchronize community and institutional initiatives. The team delivered inputs in civilian management and development policies, and trained on unconscious bias awareness and mitigation techniques.
The applicants’ packages were reviewed by a panel of AFSOC’s senior leaders throughout the command and they made program recommendations similar to how officers are vetted via development teams.
“Past development opportunities were advertised individually, and that approach did not always attract the best applicant for AFSOC or the Air Force,” said White. “This program allowed us to solicit leadership inputs during a single data call.”
Eligible civilians are competitive by completing an application form which states their developmental goals, filling out a civilian questionnaire to identify needed competencies to acquire, an endorsement letter supporting their development pursuits, and a professional resume that includes future goals and clear descriptions of work experience.
“We completed a data analysis on those competencies and will build on next year’s data call,” said LaShondria Smith, Deputy Chief, Readiness and Integration, AFSOC A1.
Each year the CivDT plans to broaden civilian professional development through exposure to a wide array of topics directly impacting United States Special Operations Command and AFSOC. Civilians should leave the program with an understanding of the command’s and commander’s perspectives, insights and competencies.
“Our civilian workforce is a key component to the success of AFSOC. They are experts in their career field,” said Donald Plater, executive director of AFSOC. “They are change agents, problem solvers and part of the fabric of AFSOC culture.”