Two-part DSD spring cycle kicks off March 16

  • Published
  • By Toni Whaley
  • Air Force‚Äôs Personnel Center Public Affairs

Airmen wishing to hone their leadership skills while mentoring and molding future Air Force leaders have the opportunity to apply for a special duty assignment during the spring Developmental Special Duty (DSD) cycle.


The DSD Enlisted Instructor and Recruiter Special Duty (EI&RSD) process for the spring 2022 cycle opens March 16 and runs through April 8. The cycle is the central selection process for U.S. Air Force Academy military trainers and noncommissioned academy Professional Military Education instructors. Airmen can apply through March 25 in MyVector with commander’s endorsements due by April 8.

The window for traditional nominations for other DSD opportunities opens April 18 and runs through May 30.

Those selected will receive assignments with report no later than dates of October 2022 through March 2023.

“The spring cycle has two mini cycles within one,” said Master Sgt. Darlene Rust, Special Duty and DSD Assignments manager. “One is automated and uses MyVector as the platform to select USAFA military trainers and PME instructors. The other cycle is run through the traditional legacy process.”

Long term, the goal is to make DSD a fully automated, central selection process managed by the Air Force Personnel Center using MyVector.

“The objective of the EI&RSD process is to provide a predictable, sustainable and explainable process by fusing Talent Management methodology into the DSD program,” Rust said. “That methodology blends the art of mission needs with the science of assignment policy, while increasing transparency and flexibility without losing focus on mission requirements.”

DSD offers a developmental career path for staff, technical, and master sergeants who serve in positions for a period of up to three or four years. The Air Force has identified 10 special duty identifiers as enlisted developmental positions due to their unique leadership roles in building the future force. Those 10 SDIs are: Career Assistance Advisor (CAA), Military Training Instructor (MTI), Military Training Leader (MTL), U.S. Air Force Academy Military Training NCO (AMT), Airman and Family Readiness Center NCO (RNCO), First Sergeant, U.S. Air Force Honor Guard NCO, Airman Dorm Leader (ADL), Enlisted Accessions Recruiter, and Professional Military Education (PME) Instructor.

“We want Airmen who are eager to take on this responsibility to mentor and mold future leaders,” Rust said. “In order to assign the most qualified Airmen to these critical positions, we also solicit the approval and endorsement of commanders because they know their members’ personality, skillset and potential. Their insight is key to ensuring a successful tour for Airmen.”

From the unit through the major command/A1s to AFPC and Headquarters Air Force, we know that the DSD program executes more effectively and efficiently when communication is clear and frequent, Rust said.

“One way we are communicating directly to Airmen is the DSD Matrix,” Rust said. “Airmen can find updates on where we are in the process here. The document, updated weekly and published to the myPers website and the AFPC Facebook page, is our way of providing transparency during the matching process.”