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Are you EPR ready?

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- 127th Wing Commander Col. Michael Thomas often coaches other leaders on the importance of setting expectations for their team members. I could not agree more. It is important that each of us understands what our leaders expect us to know and do. And then, of course, we need feedback on how well we did what was expected.

For enlisted members in the U.S. Air Force, that is done with Performance Feedback Worksheets (PFWs) and Enlisted Performance Reviews (EPRs). Years ago, the Air National Guard (ANG) adopted the use of PFWs for our enlisted members.

This year ANG plans to implement EPRs for all enlisted Airmen even including Traditional Guardsmen. The implementation plan is still being developed so we do not yet have details to answer questions around the "How?" and "When?" of the plan. But if you are an enlisted member, there are some things you can do now to get ready for your eventual performance review.

First, read your "Little Brown Book" (AFI 36-2618, dtd 27 Feb 09). Most of what you need to know is listed there. This includes such things as knowing your job and doing it to the best of your ability, observing military customs & courtesies, remaining physically fit and working on your professional development such as PME and CCAF.

Second, get a copy of the EPR form and review it in advance. This would be AF Form 910 (AB through TSgt) or AF Form 911 (MSgt through CMSgt). You can download it from the AF Publishing website (http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/) if you if you have the IBM Lotus Forms Viewer software to open it. Or, you can search the Internet for a PDF version.

Lastly, start documenting your contributions, accomplishments and training activities. Doing so will help you provide bullet suggestions to your supervisor when it comes time for them to write your EPR.

You may have heard someone say before, "Take charge of your own career," or "You are responsible for your own success." Well here is an opportunity for you to do just that. Know your supervisor's expectations, learn how you will be evaluated and be prepared to provide your supervisor with a list of your 2013 accomplishments. These three things will go a long way in helping you succeed.