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"The Little Brown Handbook" guides Airmen's careers

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Chris Morgan
  • 28th Mission Support Squadron first sergeant
Did you know the basic foundation and responsibilities for the enlisted force are written in Air Force Instruction 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, commonly referred to as "The Little Brown Book?"

Every Airman should read this instruction to comply with Air Force policy.

It spells out the professional standards and roles and responsibilities for each enlisted rank from airman basic to chief master sergeant. The enlisted force structure provides consistency and a common approach which defines us as Airmen. I can't express enough how much every Airman needs to read this reference source.

In particular, the focus should be on our junior NCOs, as they are our leaders on the front lines every day, guiding the young Airmen.

Some general NCO responsibilities are to lead subordinates and exercise effective follower-ship in mission accomplishment, by accepting and executing all duties, instructions, responsibilities and lawful orders in a timely, efficient manner.

It is also their responsibility to place the requirements of their official duties and responsibilities ahead of their personal desires, in order to, "Promote organizational esprit de corps and foster good community relations by supporting professional organizations as well as unit, base, and Air Force events. Also, encourage subordinates to do the same."

Personal and professional growth never ends. An Airman's competence requires them to incorporate all elements of the Air Force Core Values - integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. All of which are essential to the profession of arms. These core values are the basis for Air Force policies, guidance and overall focus. This is our core enlisted foundation.

If you haven't read AFI 36-2618 or were simply unaware that this instruction exists, please make it a priority to read. Any supervisor should be able to provide a copy for their subordinate, if not, contact your first sergeant.

This instruction is a great tool to be used by each and every Airman striving to guide their career with goals that go hand-in-hand with those of the Air Force.