SAINT AUGUSTINE, FL --
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Scott Croxton, the Florida Air National Guard chief of staff, and U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Brian Simpler, the commander of the Florida Air National Guard, explain the new Officer Commissioning Program and its goals to a group of enlisted Airmen from the 125th Fighter Wing during a professional development seminar held at Saint Francis Barracks on September 6, 2018.
“We're going to develop a candidate list, and were going to make it as easy as possible for members to serve at the officer level while balancing other life commitments,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Croxton, Florida Air National Guard, chief of staff.
According to Croxton, Airmen who wish to commission won’t have to look out for singular positions in succession. Instead, they will be incorporated in a pool of vetted or prequalified candidates. This way, the program fills vacancies in an efficient and timely manner.
“If I’m an Airman and I want to get commissioned, I have to be constantly looking out for commissioning opportunities and then apply for them,” said Col. Patrick Lanaghan, 125th Fighter Wing Medical Group commander. “If there are 15 opportunities, I have to apply for each one individually and potentially be interviewed for all 15. That’s a lot of time and effort that isn’t necessary.”
Lanaghan said Airmen can apply once per fiscal year. Those interested will be vetted throughout several steps before being added to the approved candidate pool. Applicants will be evaluated by a panel of designated squadron commanders to find the most qualified candidates, who will then be called before the board for an interview. Following the interview, the best candidates will be added to the candidate pool. Not every Airman who applies will be added to the list and those who make it, can be removed at any time. Reasons for ineligibility or removal include age, prior disciplinary action, and PT failure.
Croxton encourages interested Airmen to submit their applications prior to the deadline of October 19, 2018 by following the instructions listed on the 125th Fighter Wing website in the careers tab.
“I would say you are more qualified than you realize to be an officer, to lead Airmen. Your odds for selection are also better than you think. Take advantage of the experience you have, take a step and go for it,” said Croxton. “If you aspire to be a leader and to make our organization better, then go for it.”