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329 selected for academic, career broadening opportunities

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- More than 300 officers have been selected for advanced academic degree and career broadening opportunities, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced Dec. 16.

Selection for an advanced academic degree, or AAD, or special experience exchange duty, or SPEED, slot is an important step in an officer's career, said Sophia Barnard, of the AFPC staff and special duty assignments.

Through the program, officers selected will complete a degree in a discipline consistent with their Air Force career field, and after completion will use that advanced degree in support of Air Force mission needs. That could include working in the National Reconnaissance Office or serving as an U.S. Air Force Academy or Air Force Institute of Technology faculty member.

Advanced degrees are only one aspect of the program. Applicants selected for the SPEED program will work temporarily outside their career fields, either with other Air Force functions, other federal agencies or for civilian companies.

"Special program selections are some of the earliest opportunities for officers to begin building complementary skill sets," Barnard said. "The experience they garner during their exchange tour will help them understand the broader scope, how they affect and are affected by other functions -- which is critical for Air Force leaders."

Opportunities are limited and selection for each program is very competitive, she explained.

Annually, active-duty officers from specific career fields compete for one of the programs, including Academy Instructor Faculty Pipeline, Education with Industry, the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School and others.

"Officers interested in the AAD/SPEED program should review this year's criteria if they want to begin preparing to apply for next year's program," Barnard said.

To see the list of selectees, or for information about other developmental opportunities, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil and search for PSDM 13-119.

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