Force Development
Major changes to enlisted PME
Enlisted Promotions
Developmental Education

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Enlisted Professional Military Education

Overview

Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) introduces Airmen to appropriate institutional competencies at specific milestones throughout their career.

 

Basic EPME requirements are completed via distance learning courses (DLC) to establish a foundation for continued development and include the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) DLC and Senior Noncommissioned Officer (SNCO) DLC. Effective 30 June 2017, NCO DLC and SNCO DLC are prerequisites to attend resident NCO Academy and SNCO Academy, respectively.

 

Resident EPME requirements include Airman Leadership School (ALS), NCOA, SNCOA and the Chief Leadership Course (CLC). Resident attendance is not duplicative of the basic EPME requirements, but builds upon the competencies obtained to achieve higher proficiency levels.

 

Effective 30 June 2017, Time in Service (TIS) window restrictions will no longer apply to EPME requirements. Furthermore, EPME DLC completion is no longer a requirement for promotion. However, resident EPME completion is required for promotion to the grades of SSgt, MSgt and CMSgt. For promotion eligibility FAQs, click here. Airmen will be scheduled for resident EPME based on rank and completion of the applicable EPME DLC. Review the Resident EPME Eligibility Chart for additional guidance.

 

NCO/SNCO DLC REQUIREMENTS

Effective 30 June 2017, TIS window restrictions will no longer apply to basic EPME requirements. Due to this update in policy, EPME DLC notifications will no longer be distributed and the 12 month completion suspense has been removed. EPME DLC will remain a self-enrollment initiative and will not be tracked via the Military Personnel Data System (MilPDS) as the completion suspense dates are no longer applicable.

 

Although the new policy rescinds the 12 month requirement for EPME DLC completion, it does not affect the specific course time requirements levied by Air University. Once enrolled in an Air University course, Airmen must adhere to the applicable Air University suspense or risk course expiration.

 

Completion of the applicable EPME DLC remains a prerequisite for resident EPME attendance. So as not to delay resident EPME scheduling, Airmen are expected to:

 

-Enroll in NCO DLC as soon as they are selected for promotion to the rank of SSgt or upon completion of ALS. This ensures that when they become a TSgt-select, they have completed the prerequisite DLC and are eligible for immediate resident NCOA attendance.

 

-Enroll in SNCO DLC as soon as they are selected for promotion to the rank of MSgt or upon completion of NCOA. This ensures that when they become a SMSgt-select, they have completed the prerequisite DLC and are eligible for immediate resident SNCOA attendance.

 

PREVIOUS SNCO DLC COMPLETION

SNCO DLC completion is only required for Airmen who have not completed a previous version of the SNCO DLC or resident SNCOA. Airmen who have completed any previous versions of the SNCO DLC have met the EPME DLC requirement and are not required to complete any additional DLC to attend the SNCOA. Airmen who have completed Course 14 v5, v6 or the new SNCO DLC, are only required to read the student guide prior to attending SNCOA.

 

RESIDENT EPME SCHEDULING PROCEDURES

Active-duty Airmen are scheduled for ALS locally. As such, deferments and/or scheduling deviations are handled at the base level.

 

The Air Force Personnel Center's EPME office schedules active-duty Airmen for NCOA, SNCOA, and CLC. Eligible Airmen are scheduled 90 days prior to the class start date to meet class capacity according to the priorities identified in AFI 36-2301, Developmental Education. Airmen may be scheduled within 90 days of the class start date to fill vacancies resulting from scheduling deviations or deferments.

 

Eligibility factors as well as scheduling and deferment procedures are outlined in the Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy (AFSNCOA) Continental United States (CONUS) Air Force Non-Commissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) Scheduling Deferment Procedures PSD Guide via myPers.

“GRANDFATHERED” AIRMEN

Beginning with the 2018 promotion cycle, resident EPME completion is required for promotion to the grades of SSgt, MSgt, and CMSgt. However, Airmen who completed the respective DLC and were ineligible to attend resident EPME due to TIS restrictions on or before 30 June 2017 will not be required to attend the respective resident courses (i.e., SMSgt required to attend SNCOA) and are considered "grandfathered". Examples of "grandfathered" Airmen are provided below:

 

-SSgt or TSgt that completed NCO DLC/Course 15 and had over 12 years TIS as of 30 June 2017

-MSgt or SMSgts that completed SNCO DLC/Course 14 and had over 18 years TIS as of 30 June 2017

 

Personnel records for affected Airmen have been updated to reflect a study method of 5 (Residence/Non-Residence) which will display as 'USAF SENIOR NCO ACADEMY RESIDENCE/NON-RES' or 'USAF NCO ACADEMY RESIDENCE/NON-RES' on their SURF.

 

Unfortunately, Air University's current class capacity cannot accommodate the new population of Airmen required to attend resident EPME based on the elimination of TIS windows as well as the "grandfathered" Airmen. However, as Airmen development is a key priority for our Air Force leadership, they are pursuing methods to ensure that all of our Airmen have an opportunity to attend resident EPME. Affected Airmen will be notified should the opportunity to attend resident courses becomes available.