Chiefs hold promotion workshop for junior enlisted
By Senior Airman Ashley Moore, 146th Airlift Wing
/ Published September 25, 2013
9/5/2013 - CHANNEL ISLANDS AIR NATIONAL GUARD STATION, Calif. -- Command Chief Rick Onsgard of the 146th Airlift Wing and other chief's from the 146th held a workshop in the wing auditorium for junior enlisted on how to maximize their potential during oral board interviews for promotions on Sunday, July 14. The purpose of the workshop was to help maintain uniformity in the interview process for both Airmen being interviewed as well as the board members who are sitting on the panel.
Chief Onsgard started the workshop with explaining how he will continue to make the process as diplomatic and fair as possible. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a fair and balanced board and made sure to enforce the point that no one will be 'given' anything.
"We want to give you an edge, we want to give everyone an opportunity," Onsgard said. Onsgard also read the following paragraph from a promotion application: "Meeting minimum eligibility criteria only indicates the member can be considered eligible for promotion. Promotion is not reward for past performance but recognition of the members' potential to successfully serve in the higher grade."
After explaining that promotions are not a gift but are earned, Onsgard and other chiefs then explained 'how' to get that promotion. They went through the oral board process to include how to prepare, what to say and what not to say, and what you should do to 'sell yourself.'
"Get me to you questions about what you already know. Make yourself interesting," Onsgard said.
To give an example of an opening statement for an interview board, Onsgard picked Master Sergeant Alfonso Martinez from the audience to make a brief statement on his military history and awards. Martinez described his job positions and civilian history in chronological order, speaking for no more than 5 minutes. After the audience was impressed with Martinez' statement, Onsgard admitted that he gave Martinez the heads up about 15 minutes before the workshop started. Martinez gave pointers on what helped him in his recent board and reinforced that it's okay not to be perfect and to focus on the bigger picture, he said.
Chief Onsgard then showed several clips of "mock boards" that several members had before their official promotion interview. With the assistance of the Public Affairs, members are given the opportunity to schedule a "mock board" and have their interview recorded. Members can then review their tape, learn from their mistakes and are able to hone their skills to ensure that they are the best they can be for the real thing. Senior Master Sergeant Cynthia Gregory shared her mock board clips with the audience and although they may not have been the most flattering at first, she said she learned a lot and they really helped her in the process.
Onsgard said that the three most important things in to have when going in for a promotion is confidence, the ability to communicate and leadership skills. With the positive feedback he received, Onsgard said he plans to hold these workshops quarterly and expects the next one to be in October.