By Airman 1st Class Michaela R. Slanchik, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 02, 2018
MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Many Airmen enlist in the Air Force into a specific career field without much background knowledge, then realize that it may not be the best fit. Maybe they want to cross-train, or perhaps commissioning would be in their best interest. Maybe it’s time for a change of pace and they want to pursue a special duty assignment. To help make and follow these decisions, Airmen can turn to their career assistance advisor.
CAAs assist commanders and supervisors in career planning, progression and provide interpretations of applicable policies and programs. They conduct professional enhancement, informed decision and many more seminars and professional courses. However, most bases receive just one CAA to complete all of this.
Some career fields, like security forces and maintenance personnel, don’t always have the means to make it to the CAA during their duty day, being that they may typically spend the entire day on the other side of the fence or patrolling the base.
Master Sgt. Christopher Evans, 22nd Air Refueling Wing CAA, started a new program to fix this problem.
“This program is designed to ensure I am meeting with those who are unable to visit me and provide them with any information I can, including where to find it,” said Evans.
Evans visits the maintenance and security forces squadrons periodically to visit with them while they perform their primary duties, and be there to answer any questions about their careers.
“I join them in their bread vans, on the flightline, while launching aircraft, riding in patrol cars and working the gates,” said Evans. “All in the effort to be the person to give those who are on the fence about their career an insight to what they have available and the ability to answer questions that they may have, but have not been able to ask.”
On these ride-alongs, Evans will talk to Airmen about their jobs, inquire about future plans and inform them of the programs available to help them reach their goals.
“Sometimes we have questions about career progression and wonder if we’re on the right path,” said Senior Airman Cole Daniel, 22nd Maintenance Squadron structural maintenance journeyman. “Being on the line, we can’t always use base resources like sergeant Evans as readily as everyone else, so it’s nice to see a friendly face out here and get to chat with him this way.”
The ride-alongs benefit both parties, as it teaches the CAA the ins and outs of specific career fields so they can better assist Airmen who want to cross-train into those career fields, as well as teach the Airmen what opportunities are available to them in their career.
“I just want to be a master sergeant in their pocket if they need me, ready to assist in making these life decisions and aid them in their success within the Air Force,” said Evans.
If you too are looking for information on career progression and opportunities, Evans can be reached at (316) 759-4676.