TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. —
The only constant is change for many organizations, and the U.S. Air Force is no exception. Beginning Nov. 1, the 325th Force Support Squadron Career Assistance Advisor position will change to Airmen Development Advisor.
This career modification aims to structure the position more with traditional professional military education entities within force development.
“The main reason was to align us up more with PME, and…PME instructors,” said Master Sgt. Cory Bressler, 325th FSS CAA, soon to be ADA. “Our main goal for all of our professional development is to bridge that PME gap.”
ADAs will manage a wide range of programs and responsibilities for both enlisted and officers including running the First Term Airman Course, executing NCO and Senior NCO professional enhancement seminars, giving informed decision briefings and more mandatory requirements.
ADAs will also push for non-required courses for senior enlisted leaders, squadron and flight commanders and John C. Maxwell leadership seminars, as part of their mission goals.
“Our main goal is to inform leadership and supervisors on professional development opportunities, and retention and retraining,” said Bressler. “I have to stay up to date on all the different retaining and career opportunities that are available for airmen and officers to give them the information they need to make [career] decisions.”
Bressler is a career civil engineering airman with almost 14 years time-in-service who has been filling special positions to broaden his skillset including serving as an executive assistant and Silver Flag instructor. What drew Bressler to apply for the position was experience as well as having gone through the process of expanding career goals himself as an airman.
ADAs will also deal with retention and retraining with enlisted and officers by helping find other opportunities.
“People out there don’t know how to find those and that’s what I deal with the most,” said Bressler. “I will show them the process of how to actually apply. I will walk them through [the process], making sure all their requirements line up… what to expect and what to look out for.”
Additionally, ADAs will introduce and educate interested individuals to the Air Force Enlisted Classification Directory and the Retrain Advisory List, when applicable. Both resources support the Enlisted Retraining Program, but can be helpful information for officers as well.
Airmen hoping to retrain must do so within their applicable window. ADAs can help Airmen identify when their window is and how to proceed. If retraining isn’t an option, ADAs work with leaders to help fill installation local hire jobs, such as ADA and Airmen Dorm Leader, and special duty slots. ADAs also stay up to date with commissioning opportunities.
“If someone has a question, ADAs have contacts we can reach out to,” said Bressler. “There are 93 ADAs in the Air Force, and we all talk to each other. We have all that info at our fingertips. We have direct lines of communication…and learn from each other.”
As the organization continues to adapt to current mission needs and directives, retention and retraining continue to be popular topics of conversation.
“I think the Air Force loses a lot of good people… because they don’t know that opportunities are out there for them,” said Bressler. “I like to give that knowledge and help people out. I’m almost like a guidance counselor, but for adults who are looking to do something different from what they’re doing now.”