Responsibilities of an Airman First Class


The United States Air Force is one of the U.S. military branches and provides the aerial defense of the country. The U.S. military divides its enlisted ranks through a rating system that starts at E-1 and ends at E-9. The Airman First Class ranks at E-3 level, beyond the novice or apprentice soldier, and is the highest enlisted rank before reaching non-commissioned officer status.


  • The Airman First Class provides leadership to the subordinate soldiers. The Airman First Class abides by all the Air Force standards such as conduct, hygiene, skills and performance. Each lower rank looks to the next higher rank as a role model on these basic Air Force duties. Leadership by example forms the basis of the responsibility of an Airman First Class as well as other ranks in the armed services.


  • The first two ranks of enlisted soldiers learn the skills required by their military occupational specialty or MOS. The Airman First Class has developed these MOS skills and does not require direct supervision. Confidence in accomplishing a work task without supervision comes with the rank of Airman First Class. Mastering the skills required for the MOS is a major part of the responsibility of this rank.


  • Training the subordinate soldier is another responsibility of an Airman First Class. Subordinate ranks are new to the Air Force and military lifestyle. The Airman First Class is assigned a number of subordinates that he trains and teaches the Air Force standards. The training pertains to MOS work skills, proper behavior and what is required or expected from the subordinate soldier. Senior ranks grade the Airman First Class determining whether the E-3 fulfills these training responsibilities.


  • Most Airman First Class are promoted by time-in-service. A unit commander designates which soldiers are promoted to Airman First Class, but promotions up to E-3 are almost automatic in the Air Force. A soldier that has held the rank of E-2, or Airman, for 10 months, automatically gets promoted to Airman First Class as long as the soldier maintains the standards of the Air Force. The Airman First Class rank is achieved through two other methods. Prior service allotment or college credits allow Air Force personnel to enlist at an E-3 rank. The other method concerns accelerated promotion to E-3 because the soldier enlisted for six years.

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