Additional Duties Reduction Announced

In an effort to “streamline demands” on airmen’s time, Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein released an Air Force-wide memorandum on Aug. 18 announcing a broad reduction in additional airmen duties. The announcement emerges from a series of meetings with airmen at installations around the world and focuses on duties articulated in Air Force policy. According to a fact sheet released with the memo, immediate changes include the reassignment of some duties—like voting assistance counselor and approving official for government purchase cards—and the elimination of others—like buddy care monitor and records custodian. Re-assigned duties will be transferred from squadrons to commander support staff at the group or wing level. Re-assignment will in some cases be slowed by personnel limitations, as the Air Force is working to rebuild commander staffing levels. Beginning Oct. 1, the Inspector General will revise unit-level inspection standards in accordance with the reductions. The memo also announced the intention of the Air Force to conduct a similar review of computer-based training requirements as well as duties originating from law and from Department of Defense policy. The Air Force’s review of additional duties is motivated in part by recognition of the unique challenges placed on units in an era of force reduction.