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SEASF addresses enlisted promotions and individualized force development

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. James Richardson
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
Senior Enlisted Advisor of the United States Space Force Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman highlighted his areas of focus during a live presentation for the Air Force Association’s 2020 Virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference Sept. 15.

Speaking to a virtual audience and a room of socially-distanced space professionals, Towberman emphasized the development of human capital, core values and accountability during his “This is your Space Force” presentation.

“Our investment needs to be in the human being,” said Towberman. “Our focus has to be not on retention and promotion, but on development.”

Understanding the limitation of the Department of Defense pay scales, Towberman said he desires to incorporate a cultural and professional identity that incentivizes retainability. 

“It starts with this focus on the infinite game of investing in the human being and developing folks above everything else,” Towberman said. “If we can deliver this individualized, tailored solution, that may be enough for some people … however, if someone wants to leave, we have to make them capable of leaving.”  

In presenting his ambition on evolving talent management, Towberman highlighted the progress of a Space Force Noncommissioned Officer Academy and the restructuring of promotions.

“On 1 October, we [the Space Force] will own the NCO academy at Peterson Air Force Base,” Towberman said. “It’s not just about teaching Space 101, it’s about continuing to develop our people.”

As the Space Force continues to develop as a separate and distinct service, the promotion process will evolve with it. Stepping away from promotion testing, the Space Force will move to promotion boards.

“I don’t want tests,” Towberman said. “I want people [who] can think critically, who when given access to all the information in the world, can bring it together and use it in a useful way.”
Towberman then spoke about the importance of the force’s core values and its significance with the mission.

“Everything we do should point to our values,” Towberman said. “The choice, architecture and incentives we invent and invest in should have clear measures directly related to our values.”

Building warfighters and a sense of community, focusing on innovation and managing talent are all cornerstones of development for Towberman. Most important to Towberman, however, is his desire that no one be treated like a number, which he views as essential to the growth of the Space Force.

“None of you will be left out of the conversation,” Towberman said. “Nobody in the Space Force has an opinion that I don’t want to know. This really is your service!”