USAF FORCE SUPPORT BADGE

In the span of just under seven decades, the aircraft, ordnance, and technology deployed by the Airmen across all the sectors of the United States Air Force has been transformed on what can only be described as an order of magnitude. What hasn’t changed, however, is the quality of character of the men and women that are wielding these tools in defense of their country—and a major reason is the work done by the Air Force’s Personnel officers (38PX).

When the United States abandoned conscription and transitioned to an all-volunteer military in 1973, the Air Force and other branches of the armed services were faced with attracting the nation’s best and brightest at a time when anti-military sentiment ran hot. Faced with this reality, Air Force Personnel officers took steps to assess the situation and craft policies and programs to ensure the services continued combat capability. And the lessons they learned in that process have formed the basis for the continued successes in both recruiting and retention efforts.

After determining manpower requirements, Personnel officers craft plans, programs, and policies that put information about Air Force careers in front of the men and women who have the requisite skills to contribute in areas of need. Realizing that, just as with all aspects of life, change is the only constant in the Air Force, they provide input on restructuring the organizational structure so that each Specialty can leverage its human capital to the greatest extent possible.

Realizing the challenges that increasing diversity among its enlisted Airmen and Officer candidates can bring, Personnel officers also work to ensure that equal opportunities are afforded to all. They also work with commanders and senior leaders to ensure that educational opportunities are available to guarantee that the level to which each Airmen can aspire to reach it not limited by lack of training or learning opportunities.

To enter the Personnel Career Field as an officer, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in a field that refines skills that can be put to practical use in management, administration, and recruiting. These include industrial engineering, management engineering, management, mathematics, business administration, or operations research. Candidates with these degrees and who fulfill all other eligibility requirements will attend the nine-and-a-half-week Officer Training School held at Maxwell Air Force Base before heading to Personnel Officer Initial Skills Training.

The Personnel badge is awarded according to the same criteria as other occupational badges, the basic badge is awarded upon completion of the Personnel Officer IST. Complete badge guidelines can be found in Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel.
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