News: Air Guard acts, releases EPR training
Story by Master Sgt. Michael Smith
MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL BASE, Tenn. - Instructors turned actors are showing airmen the value of the enlisted performance report (EPR) and how to write them in a new training video on its best practice.
At the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center here recently, the instructors worked with broadcast and education experts to act out the results of good and bad EPRs.
They said they saw the opportunity to produce a video after training their staff.
"We saw the need, collaborated with the National Guard Bureau on a shared idea and came together as a team to assist the field," said Tammie Smeltzer, chief for Air National Guard's professional continuing education branch.
Smeltzer said thousands of Air National Guard members are expected to start writing EPRs in the coming months.
The training was requested by NGB to address a policy made in March that requires biennial performance reports for drill-status, enlisted airmen.
The change affects some 65,000 senior airmen through chief master sergeants and is being integrated now through 2015.
The TEC TV's HD Warrior Network is scheduled to broadcast the 30-minute segment nationally to Air Guard bases, June 13, 2013 at 2 p.m., and June 15, 16 at 10 a.m. and 2 a.m., EST. (Check the WN schedule at angtec.ang.af.mil.) The video is also online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=180JcaDLDoQ.
In a skit performed, an airman questions why she received an EPR score lower than she expected.
"I just got my EPR back and I'm a little disappointed ... I worked my tail off," she said.
She is told that may have to do with how her performance report was written.
"I know I haven't done nearly as much as you do around here," said a coworker. "But I happen to know that my supervisor writes really, really good bullets."
Acting out scenarios, instructors then emphasize the importance of EPR writing.
An EPR is the Air Force's main evaluation report. Supervisors write accomplishments and feedback in short, bullet statements as well as rate performance on a scale of 1 to 5.
"Our focus is on the construction of the bullet statements," said Master Sgt. Veronica Ross, director of education at the Paul H. Lankford EPME Center.
She called the video a "bullet writing 101 for the field."
"Supervisors will need to be able to construct bullets on their airmen," Ross said. "We want to help them."
In another bit, a supervisor takes note of an airman's community service for use later.
"I coordinated the whole event with Habitat for Humanity," the Airman said.
"That's really great stuff," said the supervisor, who marked the accomplishment down.
In reality supervisors should routinely track accomplishments to form them as performance bullets, said Master Sgt. Keith Cavanaugh, TEC's first sergeant.
Both Cavanaugh and Ross are active duty Air Force members who spent years writing EPRs and instructing others.
"I won't sugar coat it, EPRs take time out of your day that you don't have time for," said Cavanaugh. "However, when I know I can sit down and give my superstars a good rating that makes me proud and excited to do it."