Civilian Developmental Education key to leadership, growth Published Jan. 18, 2021 By Marisa Alia-Novobilski Air Force Materiel Command WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Ensuring civilian Airmen are prepared to fulfill and excel in leadership positions across the command is the driving force behind the dedicated effort by Air Force Materiel Command leaders to encourage employees to apply for upcoming Civilian Development Education opportunities. The application period for Academic Year 2022 Civilian Developmental Education, Civilian Strategic Leader Program and Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program is Jan. 13 through March 13. “A planned approach to continuing professional development not only improves job performance but also helps our civilians put themselves in charge of their own career development and work-related ambitions,” said Patricia M. Young, AFMC executive director. “These civilian professional development programs help us develop strong leaders and supervisors at all levels so we can meet the challenges of the ever-changing world in which we live.” With more than 30 academic programs at multiple lengths and levels, the development portfolio has programs suitable for individuals at every stage of their career. These include opportunities for civilians to attain associate through advanced college degrees; participation in military professional education programs such as Air War College and Squadron Officer School; industry fellowships and short and long-term seminars. Programs are categorized into multiple areas: Civilian Developmental Education (Basic, Intermediate, Senior); Academic/Fellowships; Leadership Seminars and Short Courses; and Experiential Assignments. While some developmental opportunities are in person, others are executed through distance learning and in a seminar format. “Civilians are encouraged to speak with their supervisors and leaders now to determine the training that would best meet their needs. Taking the right course, seminar or training at the right time is key, and getting feedback as one develops an application package from a mentor or other leader can help ensure they are on the right track,” said Young. More than 2,000 AFMC civilians applied for spots in 34 programs across the Department of Defense in 2020. Of those who applied, more than 32% were selected during the competitive process at all levels of the developmental spectrum. “Our goal this year is to increase the number of applicants and program selections, ultimately increasing the number of developmental opportunities for our civilian force,” said Young. “The application window is short, which is why civilians need to prepare now.” Employee applications for boarded programs must be submitted by Feb. 12 and non-boarded applications by Feb. 26 through MyVECTOR at https://MyVECTOR.us.af.mil/MyVECTOR. Endorsers have until March 13 to finalize and complete their portion of the application. “We all need to continue to develop. If we aren’t continually learning, then we risk becoming stagnant. CDE offers something to meet the needs of each Airman as they continue to change and develop personally and professionally. I encourage you to meet with your supervisor and mentors to find an option that would be right for you,” said Young. For more information on eligibility requirements and full program details, visit the myPers Civilian Force Development website at https://mypers.af.mil/app/categories/p/2/c/549.