Are your Airmen ready for HYT changes?

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Most Airmen affected by high year of tenure changes announced in December will have one more opportunity to test for promotion before changes take effect in September 2013. If they don't make it, they'll be separated from the Air Force.

Are your Airmen ready? As commanders, first sergeants, supervisors, leaders and mentors, we all play a role in our fellow Airmen's success. Promotion testing is very strict - no group study or study support is allowed - so maybe you don't think you can do anything to help your people prepare. But, the fact is we have responsibilities, and with only one more shot at promotion, your Airmen need you now more than ever.

Educate and communicate. Those are your responsibilities.

Promotion tests are hard. They require serious, long-term study. To do well, Airmen must develop and stick with a study routine. Do your Airmen understand that? If they're approaching HYT, they may not, and they may not know where to start. You must educate them on how to develop, implement and follow through on their study plan.

Have you spoken personally with your Airmen about this issue? Do you know why they haven't been selected for promotion? Do you know if personal or professional barriers are inhibiting them? If the answer is no, you are failing to communicate. Sure, it's a two-way street, but as a leader, your job is to grow and develop Airmen. You can't do that if you don't communicate with them.

We cannot afford to lose valuable Airmen because they didn't know how to prepare or were unable to overcome barriers on their own. You can't study for (or with) your Airmen and you can't take the promotion test for them, but you can help them learn the formula for success if you take the time to communicate with them. Will you pass the leader/mentor test?

For HYT details, go to the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil, select the "search all components" option and enter "Enlisted High Year Tenure" in the search window.