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Awards, decorations section assists Airmen in career progression

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Arielle Vasquez
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
When it comes to assisting service members with keeping their records up to date, the awards and decorations office is responsible for this important task on a daily basis.

The awards and decorations section, part of the 36th Force Support Squadron, assists customers by ensuring all of their achievements are rightfully given to service members and updating their records for career progression.

The office has about six members who service an average of ten customers daily.  The technicians coordinate with the Commander's Support Staff, Unit Program Coordinator and the Air Force Personnel Center with updates and eligibility for different awards and decorations.

"It feels good to know we take a part in making sure that the members' careers are progressing properly," said Airman 1st Class Aisha Tillman 36th FSS force management technician.

When customers come in with any awards or decorations issues, the technicians access the Military Personnel Data System to verify information. MilPDS is a primary records database for personnel data and actions that occur throughout every total force Airman's career. Actions accomplished using this system include reenlistment, promotions, unit transfers and retirements.

"In the case there is a service member who was rendered an award who wasn't entitled to it, we verify the information on MilPDS and would then contact the AFPC," said Tillman.  "We would let them know there is an error in the system, where they will then take care of the issue."

However, if a customer is missing a decoration, but has all the supporting documentation for it, they would work with the technicians to update their records.

"I would advise customers to frequently check their Personnel Records Display Application," said Airman 1st Class Vanessa Lewis, 36th FSS force management technician. "Make sure everything is there that they are entitled to and don't wait until the last minute to check it. If something is not updated, someone can miss a promotion by a point or two which is why it's important to monitor everything."

Once the technicians have all the documentation from the customers, they mail it to the Automated Records Management System on AFPC for placement in their PRDA record. PRDA is an electronic viewer for retrieval and management of personnel records, which is located in the virtual MPF.

"It's a very rewarding job," said Staff Sgt. Marcy Kawaguchi, force management NCOIC. "It's amazing to see individuals get promoted or if they notice something is missing from their records and we assist them. It feels amazing to hear them thank us for getting promoted. It's a lot of work behind the scenes, but at least we are able to assist those members."

For any assistance, walk-in hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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