Officer records unmasked
By 2nd Lt. Amy Gonzales , 16 SOW Public Affairs
/ Published April 21, 2006
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. --
Air Force leaders announced April 13 that promotion boards will once again consider officers’ educational progress as they advance in rank, beginning with the calendar year 2008 central selection boards.
In a joint letter released from Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley, they state, “Our expeditionary Air Force will need all the cultural, political and technical skills available.”
“There are several avenues to obtain degrees, and the Air Force is developing others. Our nation needs our best and demands nothing less,” the letter reads.
There are a variety of methods to obtain a master’s degree while stationed at Hurlburt Field.
According to the Hurlburt Education Center page on the Air Force Virtual Education Web site, there are five institutions offering masters’ to Airmen locally.
Additionally, officers with 15 years or less total active federal service commission date can earn a second master’s in foreign language, politico-military affairs, regional affairs or international relations with approval from the Air Force International Airman Division, said Rose Caruth, Hurlburt Field Education Officer.
The Air Force will even help Airmen pay for a master’s.
Tuition assistance is available for 100 percent of the combined cost of tuition and fees, up to $250 per semester hour, $166.66 per quarter hour and up to $4,500 per fiscal year, said Mrs. Caruth.
However, tuition assistance is only available for one master’s degree, unless an Airman wants a second master’s in a foreign language or area studies.
Including an officer’s educational level reverses a decision the Air Force made a few years ago.
Educational records were masked because some Airmen were using their benefits to pursue degrees not relevant to Air Force duties, they said.
“Over time, earning a post-graduate degree deteriorated into a method to increase the likelihood of promotion,” the letter reads.
Airmen interested in the program can visit the International Affairs Specialist
Web site on the Air Force Portal, https://www.my.af.mil. For a complete listing of local graduate programs, visit the Hurlburt Education Center Web site at https://afvec.langley.af.mil/pages/center.aspx?ID=2719.
(Editor’s note: Some information in this article was taken from Air Force Print News.)