How To Get Outstanding EPR’S and Be Competitive for Awards
are several ways to get the GREAT EPRs and be able to win Awards. Working hard
is the best approach. We all know it’s a lot easier to do something when
directions are specific rather than vague so read carefully.
As in most endeavors,
proper planning is a key to success. If you want to have the EPR or awards you
believe you have earned, here’s how to get it. Every month target an area of
your job, the base, in the community, and in education to tackle. There may be
an area that isn’t exactly like it should be, fix it! Everyone has at least one
day to donate on or off duty to a community activity. Take and do well in one
class per quarter/year. Get nominated and/or win Amn/NCO/SNCO of the
quarter/year. If you are an airman or NCO and working on an EPR, then 80 - 85%
of your work needs to be your primary duties. As a SNCO 50 - 55% should be
primary/technical duties and the rest is taking care of your people, their
advancement, recognition, training, being involved, in short the total person
concept. You must show in your EPR and awards packages that you are well
rounded. The five areas that need to be addressed if you really want an
extraordinary, excellent, or outstanding EPR or awards package are: leadership
in primary duties, leadership qualities in the social, cultural and religious
activities, significant self improvement, articulate and positive representative
of the Air Force and finally other notable accomplishments (awards, plaques,
trophies, certificates, letters). Things go in “Other Accomplishments” that
don’t fit into any of the other categories. First things first, we’ll
start with the following:
AND JOB PERFORMANCE IN PRIMARY DUTY:
What are your primary duties?
We’re looking for quality,
quantity and timeliness! (If this isn’t clear, ask
somebody who knows what it means)
It’s not just a matter of getting
things done but how well, how fast, how much money or time you saved while doing
Develop, initiate, organize,
direct, pursue, enhance, solve, master, hone, or create something useful.
Delegate, supervise, manage;
that’s how we show leadership potential
Did you improve an existing
process or program? Did you develop a new one?
Is there a monetary value
assigned? How many people are involved? Did you supervise or train the people
that performed the task?
How much equipment? What does the
equipment support; what is its value, its mission.
What did you do that someone else
didn’t, couldn’t or just wouldn’t do?
Was what you did the first,
largest, fastest, newest or simply the best of it’s kind?
How did what you do benefit the
shop, organization, the base, MAJCOM or Air Force?
Change things or get them changed
when they’re wrong (operating procedures, policies, etc.)
LEADERSHIP QUALITIES (SOCIAL, CULTURAL, AND RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES):
Selecting one thing in each of these areas shows that you are well rounded
(and busy) hopefully not too busy. Whatever you choose to do should be
something you have a love for or at least enjoy. If you do one of these things,
don’t do it just to fill a square. If
your purpose is only to fill squares, then you won’t have the commitment that
goes along with what you volunteered to do.
Start an Adopt-A-School Program,
mission outreach, become part of a crisis hotline, feeding the homeless, a
clothing drive, recycle program, neighborhood clean-up, coach little league,
intramural or community center sports team, scouting program, orphanage or
retirement/nursing home, Meals On Wheels, Toys For Tots, Operation Santa Claus,
or a holiday food basket (base or organizational level)
Volunteer for special ceremonies
or projects; seek a key position if one is available
You don’t have to wait until these
things are about to happen ask a few months in advance and give a reminder as
the time draws close
Get involved in the Airmen’s
Council, Unit Advisory Council, Booster Club, NCO Club Advisory Council, Menu
Planning Board, Dormitory Council
Unit and Base Top-3/4
Associations, Team-56, First Four Airman’s Council, Air Force Association (AFA),
Air Force Sergeant’s Association (AFSA), Noncommissioned Officers Association (NCOA)
or some professional association related to you job
Organize “mock” boards for
squadron or head up a mentorship program
As for cultural, there’s the
African American Heritage Council, the Latino Club, the
Asian/Oriental/Polynesian Association, Native American Awareness Society,
Women’s Organizations and several others too numerous to mention
Remember, don’t let the fact that you aren’t a part of a particular culture
stop you from taking an active and in some case a leadership role in certain
aspects of that culture. Keep in mind however; some things can be sensitive
when dealing with different cultures so become as familiar as possible with the
There are also civic organizations
in the community: Big brother/sister, Detention Youth Services, Rotary Club,
If you attend a church, temple or
synagogue you may want to get more involved in what’s going on there (i.e.,
teach classes, bible studies, feeding programs, electronic technician)
Many of these things are what you
would be doing anyway, the only thing now is that you will allow the Air Force
to know that you have been such a positive influence for them in this different
Most of the time it’s not just
enough to go to something, but in order to show leadership we need to take a
more active role in whatever organizations we are a part of
For example, chair a committee or
fund-raiser, become an officer (president or vice, parliamentarian,
treasurer, recorder/secretary, etc.)
Here’s where you get to
feel good about yourself by making those improvements you want:
This can be something as deep as
getting a degree or as simple as listening to a tape series or reading a book
and implementing some of it’s principles in your shop or unit
Become the resident expert in
something useful to your shop(self taught expert); be the one others come
to for help
Mention selections to special
schools or classes normally reserved for a higher grade
Become a certified CPR instructor,
organize a unit program and train unit members
Complete your career development
Course months ahead of time, or in 40% of the allotted time or with a higher
than average score of 90% or more
If your organization doesn’t have
an incentive program for such a thing, start one
Take a college course or courses
and maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better
Attend seminars especially those
that relate to your career field, or managerial skills.
Volunteer for and attend special
courses at other bases or field training detachment courses.
When you return from school
incorporate what you’ve learned, establish a better program, implement necessary
changes, and enhance the existing program.
Train or retrain others in your
work section, other shops within your organization
Train people in another
organization or branch of service (get your people trained first)
Complete a correspondence course,
take college level tests (CLEP, Dantes, ACT/PEP), earn an associates,
bachelors, masters, doctorate degree.
Keep in mind, only an associated
degree is required but it doesn’t hurt to have more education to better you as a
Whatever degree you pursue
immediately after your associates make sure it’s related to your military job
(SNCO boards look at that). It won’t increase your board score by much if
at all but, if all other SNCO’s are equal in every other area with you, that may
be the discriminator.
If you pursue a masters degree I
would suggest that you choose whatever you like or as a SNCO you may want to
pursue a degree in some form of management (industrial, human resource,
business) you’ll have to weigh and choose based on your own needs.
Make sure these things are related
to making you a more productive member of the Air Force.
An excellent source is your senior
leadership (tap into it); implement what they tell you but with your own
flare or flavor added.
Develop a continuity binder on
additional or specific duties in your shop/office.
Attend conferences that enhance
you technical, personal and professional growth.
Participate in sports (coach),
aerobic/anaerobic fitness and stress management programs.
Ask to sit on base and squadron
quarterly award, BTZ, and OAY board as member.
AND POSITIVE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AIR FORCE:
This is an area that
requires visibility; there are times when being seen is a good thing and there
are other times when it’s an absolute must.
What can you do, what gifts,
talents, abilities do you have that can be used for the Air Force?
Sing the national anthem, read the
NCO Creed, Challenge, or Oath at an official function, recite a poem, paint a
mural, landscape your shop area
Volunteer to be the Mistress or
Master of Ceremony at a base function
Give a lecture, speech, briefing,
teach a class, conduct a seminar
Entertain questions in an
appropriate public forum on behalf of the Air Force when given the opportunity;
join the Air Force Honor Guard
Take on a tough project that no
one else wants, get sound instruction and run with it
Be a part of military ceremonies,
induction, promotion, retirement, assumption/change of command ceremonies, base
honor guard, give military museum tours
Call a local recruiter, ask to
speak at a local elementary, junior high or high school during one of his
Things go here when they
don’t fit into any of the other categories.
How else do you spend your time in
a way that will benefit yourself, others and the USAF?
Take on the responsibility as the
unit voting officer/NCO, point of contact for the Combined Federal Campaign
(CFC), Air Force Assistance Fund, Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA)
representative for base and unit, Walk/Jogathon, Biathlon, etc.
Winning and being nominated for
quarterly awards, Annual Awards, 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year, Volunteer of
Decorations earned while on TDY
(i.e., JSCM, AFCM, JSAM, AFAM)
Initiate and manage an
Be the point of contact for an
additional duty: bench stock, supply point, special level, corrosion control,
battery monitor, training monitor, vehicle control NCO, technical order
Spearhead an in-house self-help
Earn the honor of being the
Commandant, Levitow Award, or Distinguished Graduate in ALS, NCO or SNCO Academy
Always show pride by wearing
your uniform properly; neat, clean, safe and proper military image
After completing your CCAF degree
you may want to become an adjunct instructor. PME schools are always on the
lookout for them. They have a selection of subjects, choose one.
are the areas to beef up and keep strong as consistently as you can. You don’t
have to do them all but you must maintain a good balance. If you follow these
guidelines you will not be disappointed at the outcome. Remember to do your
best in whatever undertakings you pursue or are tasked with. If you want the
best ratings on your EPR’s or win awards then you must do the things that will
get them for you. These things will help, count on it!