By unitedweroll on Mar 9, 2012 | In Military News and Support
"The crossflow application window closes March 16, so eligible officers who are interested in intelligence or public affairs should make a decision soon."
The word "crossflow" may sound like something you would only see in a crossword puzzle, but it is a very real situation in military life. We have had the opportunity to interview members who have been through this process, whether on a voluntary basis or as an assigned change. This article highlights some of the thoughts Air Force members had when confronted with a crossflow change and also includes some current opportunities.
Release No: 053
March 9, 2012
2011 crossflow officers reflect on their experiences
by Debbie Gildea
Air Force Personnel, Services and Manpower Public Affairs
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Three officers who crossflowed into undermanned career fields last year reflect on the challenges and successes they have experienced so far, and offer some insight for those considering it this year.
The nonrated line officer crossflow program was implemented to help balance the force. While officers have always been able to crossflow into other career fields, last year the Air Force formalized the procedure, and 73 officers crossflowed into such fields as intelligence and public affairs. This year, volunteers from overmanned fields can apply for the program through March 16.
Some crossflows last year were non-volunteers, including Captains Joshua Daniels, now a public affairs officer at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and Brianna Eads, Basic Intelligence Officers Course student, Goodfellow AFB, Texas.
“I was very disappointed when I was initially notified of the crossflow selection,” said Eads. “I was not very motivated and to be honest, was very disgruntled about attending this training. But after I arrived and actually got to see the opportunities and experiences I will have working in this field, my tune changed.”
Eads now embraces her new field and family, and is looking forward to completing her training and putting her new skills to work.
Although resistant to being crossflowed out of force support, Daniels is glad to have the opportunity to continue his Air Force career, and grateful to the public affairs professionals who have welcomed him to the field.
“Being a crossflow is difficult, and all my PA peers know more than I do and have more experience in the field,” he said, adding that the community has opened its arms to him and helped him transition. “It’s nice to be in a small community again,” the former services officer said.
Many officers volunteered for crossflow, including Capt. Tamara Fischer-Carter, former security forces officer.
“I'm ecstatic to bring my skill sets to the public affairs table and help tell the Air Force story,” she said. “I do miss my Defenders but I believe this is another way to lead from the front, through communicating the Air Force story. I’m part of a team that gets to highlight and praise Airmen on a grand scale, emphasize every Airman’s contribution, and I have the honor of telling the American public about the Air Force’s capabilities and daily missions.”
Crossflow officers do more than help “beef up” an undermanned field. They bring unique perspective to their new field based in part on their original career field experiences. Eads, as a former bomb wing executive officer and squadron section commander, clearly understands the value that intelligence officers bring to the fight.
“This tech school is different in the sense that it requires you to think outside the box. Not all answers are black and white,” said the former personnel officer. “In personnel you deal with people's careers and you can have a big impact on their lives, but the scope for intel is much larger and ultimately the things you do can affect whether someone lives or dies.”
Public affairs can have a huge impact, too, and Daniels advises potential volunteers to carefully assess their strengths and abilities before jumping into the field.
“If I was advising someone, I would recommend PA,” he said. “But be sure it’s for you. You have to like the work, and enjoy talking to different people all day, every day. You need to be a quick learner and be willing to go out on a limb, and possibly fail. But, it’s worth it.”
“Telling the Air Force story on a strategic scale has never been more important in our history than now. It is an honor to be a part of the team that does this,” said Fischer-Carter. “If you’ve got the chops to communicate that story, this is the perfect job. But, you don’t need a public affairs badge to do this. Every Airman contributes to the public affairs effort when they share their experiences with family, friends, neighbors and community organizations.”
The crossflow application window closes March 16, so eligible officers who are interested in intelligence or public affairs should make a decision soon.
This year officers from year groups 2001-2004 in the weather, cyberspace operations, aircraft maintenance, munitions and missile maintenance, logistics readiness, security forces, force support, behavioral scientist, chemist, physicist, financial management and special investigations career fields are eligible to volunteer.
Officers from year groups 2005-2008 in the munitions and missile maintenance, security forces, behavioral science, chemist, physicist, and special investigations career fields are also eligible to volunteer.
“We are accepting volunteers for this program, but if we don’t have enough volunteers, then non-volunteer selections may be necessary,” said Joseph Marchino, AFPC special duty assignments branch chief. “Officers should carefully review the crossflow eligibility and application messages to determine if they are eligible.”
For more information on the crossflow program, including exemptions and application instructions, go to the Air Force Personnel Services website officer crossflow page at https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil/app/answers/detail/a_id/21530/kw/19478/p/8%2C9/r_id/100169. For information on other personnel issues, go to https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil.
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