DUKE FIELD, Fla. --
Seven 919th Special Operations Wing Airmen will be promoted Oct.1 as part of the Promotion Enhancement Program.
The promotees are Master Sgt. William Piggot and Tech. Sgt. Pamela Gabbard, 919th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron; Tech Sgt. Glenda Robinson, 919th SOW; Staff Sgt. Guy Coggins, 919th Special Operations Support Squadron; Staff Sgt. Brett Keck, 919th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron; Staff Sgt. Tiffany Martinez, 919th Special Operations Maintenance Group; and Staff Sgt. Donald McNaron, 711th Special Operations Squadron.
The Air Force Reserve Command's PEP program is designed to recognize exceptional performers for promotion to the grades of tech sergeant through chief master sergeant who would otherwise not be eligible for promotion due to lack of vacancies.
This year, because the official release of the names of the promotees was before the unit training assembly, commanders and first sergeants were only able to surprise a few individuals with the news. Others were notified via telephone.
Robinson was one of the members here on orders the day before the official release. Col. James Phillips, 919th SOW commander, asked the other Airmen from wing safety to his office individually before calling the whole group.
Robinson thought they were in big trouble. Once in the office, Chief Master Sgt. Tom Mason, 919th SOW command chief came over the speaker phone reciting Air Force Instructions.
"I thought we were going to be read our rights," said the soon to be master sergeant.
When Mason said, "Master Sgt. Robinson," she knew what was going on and broke into tears.
"They were tears of joy," she said. "I am truly grateful to everyone that helped with this whole process."
Martinez was similarly notified when Col. Paul Weimer, 919 SOMXG commander, pulled her from her office demanding her to come with him in a serious tone. "I thought I was in trouble," said the tech. promotee.
They walked into the MXG conference room where Chiefs Roberts, Murphy, and Duvall were sitting. Martinez said, "Now I really thought I was in trouble!"
Then Weimer asked her to state her full name.
"I thought, 'Oh, boy, I am being court marshalled,'" said Martinez. "'I think I'm about to cry.'"
After she stated her name, Weimer casually said, "I think it sounds better as Tech. Sgt. Tiffany Martinez. Congratulations, you've been PEPed."
"I feel extremely honored and proud to receive the promotion," said Martinez. "I appreciate all the work that was done to put my package together."
These new promotees and the frequency that the 919th SOW earns them are a testament to the Airmen of the wing and their leadership's awards package submissions, according to Mason.
"We have supervisors and commanders who care about their people, a process that works to ensure we push up the most competitive packages, and Airmen who understand they are responsible for their success and work extremely hard at accomplishing the mission," said Mason. "When it all comes together, the recognition and promotions are easy."
The Air Reserve Personnel Center sends out a quota that determines the number of promotions that will be awarded each year. In order to ensure Duke Field gets the most possible awarded applications, PEP packages are board reviewed here before being sent on to the AFRC board. This process has proved effective with 21 of 26 nominees chosen over the last three years.
According to Chief Master Sgt. Michael Klausutis, currently the command chief for the 927th Air Refueling Wing and previously for the 919th SOW, being good at their job and completing the requirements for promotion are not enough for Airmen to create a successful PEP package. Here are his tips
for creating an effective PEP package.
The keys are higher education, public service, professional military education and development, and squadron, group, and wing level awards recognition.
Supervisors should begin working on their troops' packages early to determine which areas need improvement.
As far as higher education goes, the Community College of the Air Force degree is highly recommended. Degrees from civilian universities and colleges will also enhance a package's chance of success.
Public services have a wide variety of options from helping with wing events to volunteering in your local community.
Professional development includes NCO Leadership Development Course for staff sergeant and technical sergeant candidates, Senior NCO Leadership Development Course and Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education online course.
Having awards recognition help to show the Airman is truly the best of the best. If a troop hasn't been awarded a unit level award or a medal in the last few years, their supervisor can submit for these if they have started on their PEP package early enough to recognize this shortfall.