Introduction to WAPS (AFI 36-2502)
You need to ensure your troops understand what it takes to get ahead in today’s Air Force. All too often, a young SrA is handed a data verification RIP, a copy of the latest PFE, and is told “good luck!” Next, they hear things like “you can’t get promoted your first time up,” and “it’s harder to get promoted in this career field than in other jobs.”
Things to discuss with the ratee:
. Accurate information is the ratee’s responsibility. Sit down and discuss each of the factors on the DVR, and if errors exist, have the ratee immediately go to the MPF customer service section.
Promotions to the top 5 grades are tied to fiscal year end-strength and budget limits.
Air Force determines how many promotions are required to reach the authorized end strength. Let’s say that in order to reach the required level of SSgts, we need to promote 10% of the eligible SrA.
Promotion percentage is applied across the board, regardless of AFSC. If the percentage is 10%, each AFSC will get 10% of the eligible population promoted. That’s why the NCORP exists…after a promotion cycle, overages will exist in certain AFSCs.
. Most folks don’t take the time to thoroughly review the Military Knowledge Testing Standard key that’s found at the beginning of the PFE. It describes to what level the information must be mastered. For instance, why “apply” the principles of airpower when you only need to “know” them. Go over the key with the ratee and make sure they understand it.
“They” raised the cut-off, so I can’t get promoted.
“They” are your peers. Cutoffs are established based on the percentage of individuals we need to promote to fill vacancies. All promotion factors (test scores, TIG, TIS, decorations, etc) are tallied, all those who tested are “racked and stacked” based on their total score, the percentage of promotions is applied, and a “cut-off” line is established.
Cut-off scores change from year to year, so don’t worry about the current cut-off score.
Retrainees “steal” promotions. Until they are awarded the same CAFSC as the ratee, retrainees compete with all other retrainees for promotion. Once they are awarded the CAFSC, retrainees actually help, because they increase the pool of eligibles. The more eligibles, the more stripes!
It’s harder to get promoted in some AFSCs than others. Remember, the same promotion opportunity exists regardless of the AFSC. Naturally, AFSCs with more eligibles will receive more stripes (i.e., 100 eligibles, 10% opportunity = 10 stripes; 10 eligibles, 10% opportunity = 1 stripe) but the same “opportunity” exists for everyone.