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VCSAF emphasizes importance of DE, PME for officers

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shane Dunaway
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
In a recent memorandum sent to senior leaders Air Force-wide, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Howie Chandler stressed the importance of pursuing development education and professional military education for the officer corps.

Developmental education programs assist officers as they climb the rank ladder and prepare them for the challenges faced within each higher rank.

"The Air Force uses a number of educational programs, including professional military education, to meet the developmental needs of the officer corps and the Air Force," General Chandler said, citing professional military education as a "critical subset of developmental education."

General Chandler urged all officers, including 'selects,' to enroll in PME through distance learning programs when eligible. According to General Chandler, the courses serve to enhance officers' leadership and knowledge of air, space and cyberspace power.

Col. Thelma Hales, Pacific Air Forces A1, further elaborated on the importance for officer PME through distance learning.

"For some time now, there has been a lot of discussion regarding the proper timing for completion of distance learning PME," Colonel Hales said. "Previous AF guidance told intermediate developmental education and senior developmental education selects they did not need to enroll in distance learning programs. The intent of that policy was to eliminate redundancy and give back some 'Airmen's time.'

"Unfortunately, commanders and officers found that policy ambiguous and inconsistent with perceived practices," she added. "The latest guidance stresses the importance of PME to our officers and asks officers to weigh all relevant factors in deciding whether to complete PME by distance learning."