The Board: A BMT Flashback

If you’ve been keeping up in the last two days, you’ve read that I’m going to be meeting the board this Saturday to compete against two other Airmen for Airman of the Quarter for our wing.  Let’s just jump straight to it…

I was very, very naive about the process.
Ignorant of the process is more like it.  On the recommendation of an NCO in my office, I went and spoke with a section chief in our squadron about what to expect.  I asked for a Post-It to write down some notes.  I proceeded to fill both sides of that Post-It with detailed notes for myself, in small handwriting.
I had BMT flashback moments as my chief was telling me about the process.  Let’s bullet all of my findings for you.
  • I knew the service dress was the uniform for the event.  As expected, everything about my uniform needs to be perfect – “fine-tooth comb perfect.”  Time to fetch the tweezers, sewing scissors, lint roller, and start looking for loose threads, just like in BMT.
  • I’ll report to a board of approximately 4 – 5 people.  The majority will be chiefs and the group is headed up by an officer.  I’ll report to the board just as I was taught at BMT, the reporting to office procedures.  I’ve learned (and done) this once in my career, at BMT.  Good thing I was able to bounce everything off to my chief, so I have it down.
  • Hello facing movements!  Probably the only time in my Reserve/operational career where I’ll have to do them.  I’m confident in my drill movements, but when I brought up practicing in my heels, DH reminded me that I’d have to do an about-face before I exit the room.  That’s reason enough to ditch the heels and kick it old school, BMT-style, and wear low quarters (our oxford shoes) with my pantyhose.
  • Memory worksay what?!  Yes, just like in BMT, I’m expected to know the chain of command, and not just for my wing.  I have to brush up on the Air Force Reserve Command, 22 AF (which we fall under), etc.
  • It was recommended that I know the textbook definition of a Personnelist’s duties.  Ok, that I understand and yes, I should probably know those anyway.
  • I have to know a few key AFIs (Air Force Instructions, official publications of rules, regulations, and procedures).  One of the biggest AFIs is 36-2903, Dress and Appearance, and I feel pretty confident about that one.  It was also suggested that I know the one for physical fitness (which happens to be 36-2905).
  • Eye contact is essential.  When responding to a question, make eye contact with the person who asked it, circle around the group, and end with the original question asker.  Good skills for any interview! 
[One day passes…]
Ok, feeling much better today, although I still know that I have to be on my game.  I have such huge supporters in my life, and in my workplace.  Roughly 70% of my points will be based on my performance in front of the board.  The remaining points are determined by the package submitted to the board, which will be reviewed prior to my arrival.  I was a little shocked to hear that the other day, and it makes me wonder if they’ll question me on things in the package [PT scores, bullets].  I mentioned this website, so if I’m questioned about it I know I’ll deliver.
The biggest thing I’ve been told is to have confidence when in front of the board.  A deep breath or two, a quick woosah, and I know I can turn on the charm!
Wish me luck!  I’m supposed to find out the results of the board no later than Sunday morning.