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Laughlin Airmen promoted below the zone
LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Chief Master Sgt. Raymond DeVite, 47th Flying Training Wing command chief, and Chief Master Sgt. Russell Thomas, 47th Medical Group superintendent, present Airman 1st Class Clinton Howe, a patient travel technician with the 47th MDG, with his senior airman stripes. Airman Howe was one of two Laughlin Airmen promoted to senior airmen below the zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Patrick O’Neill)
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Laughlin Airmen promoted below the zone

Posted 4/1/2011   Updated 4/1/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by 2nd Lt. Patrick O'Neill
47th Flying Training Wing public affairs


4/1/2011 - LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Airman 1st Class Clinton Howe, a patient travel technician with the 47th Medical Group, and Airman 1st Class Wayne Whaley, an installation patrolman with the 47th Security Forces Squadron, were informed March 25 of their selection for a below the zone promotion to senior airman.

Chief Master Sgt. Raymond DeVite, 47th Flying Training Wing command chief, and Chief Master Sgt. Russell Thomas, 47th Medical Group superintendent, presented Airman Howe with his new rank in front of his fellow Airmen.

Airman Whaley is currently deployed in support of the current overseas contingencies but was presented his certificate of promotion by Senior Airman Joshua Hammel, also an installation patrolman with the 47th SFS.

"Master Sgt. Escher and I informed Airman Whaley over the phone," said Chief Master Sgt. Samuel Johnson, 47th SFS superintendent. "He was ecstatic."

Both Airmen were promoted using the Senior Airman Below the Zone program. While promotion to Senior Airmen is automatic based on time-in-grade and time-in-service requirements as well as a consistent adherence to Air Force standards, the Senior Airman BTZ program allows 15 percent of eligible Airmen a one-time, early promotion to senior airman six months earlier than their normal eligibility.

The BTZ program is a method for commanders and supervisors to recognize their Airmen for their accomplishments and contributions to their unit.

To attain a BTZ promotion, Airmen must distinguish themselves from their peers. This is typically done by rapidly completing upgrade training, completing off-duty education and performing far above the standard, said Chief DeVite.

"I was surprised. I knew I was up against good competition. I knew it would be tough, especially going up against people you know," said Airman Howe. "You want everyone to win."



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