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Have you considered any Special Duty assignments?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Tim Silva
  • 451st Expeditionary Maintenance Group First Sergeant
As I'm out and about visiting with our Airmen, I'll ask a few questions, "How are you doing? How do you like your job? Are you reenlisting?" For the most part, the answers to those questions are as follows: "fine, it's ok, ah not sure, or no."

I have had a blessed career. I came in as a 603 -- a Transporter, now we are 2Tangos. Although I enjoyed my career field, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and apply for special duties. Due to these special duties I have had many opportunities to travel and see what the Air Force is all about. I will briefly share some of my experiences in the Air Force.

In February of 1992 I decided to see what Postal was all about. I ended up doing three tours ... Howard AFB, Panama, Aviano AB, Italy, and Incirlik, Turkey. I returned to my career field and approximately 10 months later I was picked up as an Enlisted Aide. I was sent to Culinary School and Evasive Driving Maneuvers & Bomb Detection class. I had the opportunity to meet so many people and travel to so many places. I did two tours and enjoyed them both. I then applied and was accepted for the Department of Defense Courier Service.

I did two tours, which also afforded me the opportunity to travel all over the world and transport, pick-up/deliver Top Secret material. I had to return to my career field for a short time (convoys in Iraq). Upon my return from my deployment to Kuwait I applied for Shirt duty.

My package was approved, ao I attended Shirt school and here I am. I have to admit, being a first sergeant is truly the best job I have had in our Air Force. I have said that about all of my special duties though. I am immensely enjoying it.

As a first sergeant I'm not here to convince you to reenlist, but rather for you to make an informed decision about your career. In addition, I'm here to educate you as to what the Air Force has to offer. With all that said, I will briefly share my opinions with you about the pros in applying for a Special Duty.

Special Duty Assignments are duties that are unrelated to any specific career field and do not provide a normal career progression pattern. In addition, Special Duty Assignments can give you the opportunity to learn new skills, gain new experience, and usually increase your paycheck by getting Special Duty Assignment pay.

According to recent Air Force reports and interviews, "the Air Force needs to hire between 300 and 400 recruiters each year alone. Approximately 80 to 90 military training instructors are needed each year. Recruiters have the ability to choose from more than 1,100 locations for assignments. Moreover, recruiters get $450 extra a month. MTIs get $350 extra a month. And you also get a four-year controlled tour."

The high demand for personnel doesn't mean special duty positions aren't highly selective -- Airmen must have impeccable records. When applying for a special duty you can expect everything from your finances to physical fitness test scores (I tested four times, in the same year, when I was picked up as a Shirt) to be looked at in determining whether or not to be selected for a particular duty. The Air Force definitely wants the best of the best: recruiters, military training leaders, USAF Honor Guard, etc. The Air Force is looking for Airmen who bleed Air Force blue.

In order to find out more, log in to EQUAL-Plus. It is updated on a weekly basis and arranged by grade and Air Force Specialty Codes. In addition, you can visit your career advisor at your home station.

Below are the Special Duties the Air Force offers:

8A200 - Enlisted Aide
8B000 - Military Training Instructor
8B100 - Military Training Leader
8B200 - Academy Military Training NCO
8C000 - Family Support Center
8D000 - Linguist Debriefer/Interrogator
8E000 - Research & Development Technician
8F000 - First Sergeant
8G000 - USAF Honor Guard
8J000 - Correctional Custody Supervisor
8M000 - Postal
8P000 - Courier
8P100 - Defense Attaché
8R000 - Recruiter
8S000 - Missile Facility Manager
8S100 - Sensor Operator
8T000 - PME Instructor

The following reflects the most recent DoD SDAP:

SD-1 $75.00
SD-2 $150.00
SD-3 $225.00
SD-4 $300.00
SD-5 $375.00
SD-6 $450.00