Within current functions of the Air Guard, personnel are assigned to various departments based upon publications of a watch and station bill. This publication suggests the fluidity of the organization, whereby a Senior Aircraftman (SAC) who is a logistic clerk performs his duty within the Fixed Wing Branch and is concerned about his promotion. It is significant that an assessment of this scenario is done since it currently occurs within the Formation.
In order to give guidance to the SAC who has admitted that he is not fully conversant of the promotion criteria and seeks to ensure his eligibility, correct referencing is necessary. One such document is the Advancement Roster that is provided for the Other Ranks. The AGSO states that as soon as an ‘other rank’ has qualified professionally for promotion, his/her name is to be placed on an advancement roster. The roster dictates the next person eligible for promotion based on vacancy. As the Divisional Officer (DO), a concern such as this must be addressed to ensure clarity, good order and due care being meted out his/her charges.
The interview of the of the SAC is necessary to educate him on the structure of the Air Guard. Therefore, an interview arranged with the DO, the Warrant Officer or Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (WO/SNCO) and the SAC is quite appropriate. Annex 1 attached depicts the arrangement of the interview room. The Officer’s Office can be utilized to create a formal yet relaxed environment. This approach remains functional, professional and relevant for an interview such as this. The Officer should maintain position behind the desk and the WO/SNSO will be provided with a seat. This would facilitate use of the Interview Book, the AGSO, the Defence Act, his Personal File (PF) that are apposite for information dissemination. The creation of the aforementioned atmosphere will provide a level of comfort for all without over familiarity being expressed. The Interview Book is very important for record of information, although it is deemed ‘relaxed’ since it can be referenced in the future should there be any question or challenge. Consequently, the interview is not based on any disciplinary charges therefore the SAC can be marched-in, and offered a seat. It should be noted that the presence of the WO/SNCO is multifunctional, to provide a witness of the contents of the meeting and adherence to chain of command of the organization. Further, the WO/SNCO is also present to guide the DO where information has not been clearly communication or inadvertently omitted. Their inclusion serves to remind the SAC that matters such as this can be taken to them without the involvement of the DO. Moreover, the scenario indicated that the SAC approached the DO therefore the meeting and presence of the WO/SNCO serves to further reinforce the chain of communication and command. Nevertheless, the Tell-Sell style can be used since the SAC is going to be informed and educated on the promotional structure.
The following considerations are to be applied in the interview:
As a DO, research is important for the dissemination of accurate information. One (1) area that can be explored are the current advancement and seniority rosters. The SAC had in his possession an undated seniority roster. This indicates that he is being fed information from an unknown yet trusted source. Nonetheless, research and his PF would indicate whether the SAC is qualified for promotion as follows:
Should this be satisfied, the SAC will be eligible for placement on the advancement roster, which determines promotion based on vacancy. The SAC must also be informed that this is different from the seniority roster which shows only the seniority date, therefore, guidance for promotion should be taken off the advancement roster. He is to be informed that the advancement roster carries the later of two (2) dates, being his professional or educational date. The Power of Authority is to be fully utilized to further substantiate information. The Authority for guidance and governance is the AGSO. It should also be utilized in the interview for reference to sections from which information derived. This will further show the SAC that due care was taken and his interest was treated importantly, just as their contribution to the organization’s mission. Seeing the information presented in black and white will educate the SAC and the source who has been giving inaccurate information. Moreover, the Human Element must be adopted in treating with matters in the military that relates to ‘managing people’ and ‘emotional intelligence’. Having worked in the Project Department for four (4) years, staff have always been shown respect for who they are and their rank. The advancement of the SAC is a legitimate desire therefore, the use of the interview in a formal and relaxed setting indicates that the DO supports him and cares of his welfare. It must be demonstrated that the DO represents command and the face of the organization.
Personal considerations are another important facet to be addressed when promotion eligibility is being considered. The interview will be an excellent opportunity to informally address the SAC’s performance. Conduct Record Sheets are to be destroyed on promotion to higher rank or twelve months from the date of the last entry. However, precedence has shown that persons who have pending charges or been recently charged are not considered eligible for promotion. This case was seen for former Senior Aircraftman Morris and former Corporal Bruce. They both had pending cases/charges and were not considered for promotion within that cycle. The AGSO states that in addition to qualifications, persons must show a degree of responsibility and leadership in the performance of their duties in the present rank which clearly demonstrates fitness for the higher rank. At promotional conference, members will deliberate on the individual’s disposition for promotion. Further, good performance in the department allows the SAC to gain one (1) month seniority along with two (2) months to be gained based on the performance of the professional examination.
The SAC will lastly be informed of the Branch system. There are currently three (3) Branches within the Air Guard which includes the Rotary Wing. According to the AGSO, however, there are four (4), which includes Engineering. Given that the SAC is a logistician he must also be advised that although his department has a vacancy for a Corporal, he must also be promoted according to his Branch. This will be a good opportunity to remind him of his examination stream for the promotion to the next higher rank, which in this case, will be logistics. The vacancy for his promotion must lie within the Headquarters Branch, although he performs duty within the Fixed Wing. Additionally, he must be guided whether the Corporal vacancy is required for a Technician or Aircrew. Further the advancement and seniority rosters must be consulted to see his position with regards to other SACs within the Headquarters Branch. An opportunity for promotion can still exist in within a given scenario. The SAC may be very senior within the Headquarters and the vacancy for Corporal in the Fixed Wing is not yet available for the current SACs in the Branch, who may not be qualified by time. In this regard, a billet can be borrowed for the promotion of the SAC to Corporal. He can be informed of this occurrence and guided that it may not apply in this situation. However, this matter it can be explored at senior levels and at the promotional conference for consideration.
The ‘Tell-Sell’ style should be used to inform, educate and provide counselling to the SAC to address his concerns about his promotion. The use of the four (4) aforementioned areas are utilized to direct and efficiently cover a thirty (30) minute interview. He will be reminded that the vacancy exists in the Fixed Wing Branch. Although, he may be the senior SAC in his department, he must be guided by the Advancement and Seniority Rosters as well as the promotion according to his branch. Furthermore, he should be informed whether the vacancy exists for a technician or aircrew. The interview serves to bring his advancement in perspective which can further prepare him for the role required to be observed. Seeking an audience with a senior regarding one’s development shows interest and situational awareness. The DO is obligated to see to the service matters of his/her charges within his scope of responsibility. Moreover, the DO is the SAC’s first Welfare Officer. This is an opportunity to win over the trust of the SAC that his interests and development is paramount in mission succession and development of the Air Guard.
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