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By Senior Master Sgt. Laura Magee, State Headquarters, Nevada Air National Guard

If you are one of those who groans when they hear Force Development then worry not, I will make it as painless as possible! As we begin our third year instituting the Force Development Program, we recognize there are still a lot of questions out there. Rather than doing a comprehensive article about the importance of force development using the biggest most comprehensive words I can find, I thought I would hit ya’ll with a few highlights of what the NVANG Force Development Program is… and what it isn’t. Let’s start with the isn’ts…

Force Development ISN’T…

  • A promise of promotion or a guaranteed job/position. No, my friend, you still have to earn that on your own…sorry.
  • A list of “have to’s” on top of all the other stuff you have to worry about.
  • An exclusive program in which many apply, only a few make the cut. No siree Bob! Each and every person who submits a form is given the exact same consideration as all his/her colleagues
  • A way to earn brownie points or bullets on your EPR simply by submitting. It’s what you do after you get your vector that really counts!

 The Force Development Program IS…

  • Voluntary! You don’t have to submit! And if you do submit, you don’t have to follow the board’s recommendations (although, of course, we recommend you do).
  • All about the individual and his/her professional growth in accordance with their goals as members of the NVANG. 
  • A way to even the playing field by giving everyone who participates the same information about professional development opportunities, regardless of their rank, status, or duty title.
  • An opportunity for individuals to clarify their goals and strategically align their efforts toward meeting their goals. In other words, we cannot promise you a job or promotion, but we can tell you what you need to do to be more competitive for said job or promotion.
  • A means of gathering demographic information on the needs of the State, such as mentorship or professional development, and passing the information along to the appropriate entities. You say you want to get involved with diversity, we will pass your name along to the council as well as give you the information you need to join!
  • What makes us good at our jobs. We should never stop growing as professionals and individuals.

Well, ladies and gents, I hope that helps, but as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Force development may be never-ending, but it shouldn’t also be nebulous or confusing!