Career assistance advisors guide Airmen

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Samantha Krolikowski
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
A career assistance advisor has many roles and responsibilities. They are first and foremost a counselor to all Airmen with regards to career paths, re-enlistments and retraining opportunities. 

"Career advisors are important to the Air Force because we can aid Airmen at all levels of their career," said Master Sgt. Rory McKinnon, 92nd Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor. "We can provide seminars and resources on hot topics others may not have in their scope."

CAA's operate the First Term Airmen Center and Informed Decision briefings and provide Professional Development opportunities to all members of Team Fairchild. Airmen can go to a CAA to help strengthen their leadership skills, followership, teamwork and communication while also helping them network within the base community, McKinnon stated.

"The CAA stands as a highly-visible and knowledgeable source of career guidance to Airman at all levels," said Rick Padgett, 92nd FSS force development flight chief.

"We also offer individual counseling sessions for Airmen to discuss career paths, identify strengths, weaknesses and job matches if they're looking to retrain or broaden their skills," McKinnon said.

Airmen interested in cross-training should ensure they understand the minimum entry requirements for the desired career field and how to make themselves marketable. There are also special duties Airmen can be selected for.

"Let your interests be known to your chain of command and take full advantage of the opportunities," McKinnon said. "A select number of people get to experience special duties. These experiences will give a career broadening experience that will be advantageous to your career."

"Retraining is an excellent opportunity for an Airman's career because it allows them to work in an Air Force Specialty Code that might be more suitable to their unique and individual talents," said Staff Sgt. Nicole Pope 338th Maintenance Group training manager.

CAA's can also assist Airmen if they're thinking of separating from the military. Many Airmen get out and don't take their current benefits into account. Some Airmen may find it much tougher to live at their current standards once they are out of the military, said McKinnon.

According to McKinnon, newer NCOs should look for ways to bolster their weak areas as a supervisor, mentor or leader and to start preparing for career expanding opportunities.

"The best part of being a CAA is the interaction I have with Airmen," McKinnon said. "I enjoy talking to Airmen every day, learning about them and their jobs and helping them be successful in their career paths."

For more information contact Master Sgt. Rory McKinnon at (509) 247-8020.