Maxwell-Gunter breaks down new feedback from

Senior Airman Sachel Barber, left, 42nd Communications Squadron, and Senior Airman Joshua Goodpaster, Air Force Life Cycle Management Flight, go over scenarios that could go come up in a feedback session using the new Airman Comprehensive Assessment form Aug. 1, 2014, at the Maxwell Professional Development Center. The center is hosting briefings and classes to help Airmen familiarize with the new form. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

Senior Airman Sachel Barber, left, 42nd Communications Squadron, and Senior Airman Joshua Goodpaster, Air Force Life Cycle Management Flight, go over scenarios that could go come up in a feedback session using the new Airman Comprehensive Assessment form Aug. 1, 2014, at the Maxwell Professional Development Center. The center is hosting briefings and classes to help Airmen familiarize with the new form. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Al. -- With nine sections and 36 questions, the new Airman Comprehensive Assessment or ACA, has some saying "what's on there isn't anyone's business" and "anyone could understand the importance of ___."

The Maxwell-Gunter professional development center is hosting quarterly briefings and training classes to eradicate such judgments and help people understand how to properly conduct a quality feedback with the new form.

"We have to do the best we can for professional development of the Maxwell and Gunter communities," said Senior Master Sgt. John Roxbury, Maxwell-Gunter Top-3 committee chair for professional development. "Most of this training and briefings teaches how you use this form to make sure Airmen feel they are a part of the Air Force culture. How you use it to mentor them is going to go a long way in making it successful in the long term."

With more than 20 years in the Air Force, Roxbury is no stranger to changing forms.

"It was a two or three year cycle of people trying to do the right things at different levels, but not everyone was on the same page," Roxbury said. "You had supervisors who were giving their Airmen fire-wall ratings to apply for special duties, and then you had others who said we're going to rate as it was intended, giving threes and fours. Knowing that was my incentive to help Airmen and supervisors become more comfortable with the form."

In the briefing, Roxbury goes over the ratee, rater and commander responsibilities and deadlines. He also goes over each section of the form explaining the intent of each question and giving examples of work ethic that would fall under specific ratings.

"Okay, so who in here consistently demonstrates the Air Force core values both on and off duty?" Roxbury asked at the briefing.

Everyone raised a hand.

"Now keep your hand up if you are the embodiment of integrity, service before self and excellence, and you encourage other to do the same."

Some hands dropped, and he explained that's okay because it's how the form should work.

"Not everyone is going to get the highest rating in each area," he said explaining the intent of the new form.

Roxbury asked similar questions in the training class, but took the form a step by further by putting it in the attendees' hands. With information about each section already explained, attendees checked the boxes rating themselves under performance, followership/leadership and the whole Airman concept.

The attendees also got to see what a feedback session should look like when Airmen, who were very familiar with the form, thanks to recently graduating from Airman Leadership School, role-played feedback scenarios.

The Airmen went through the questions thoroughly focusing on tackling finances, the audience's biggest concern in regard to being too personal.

"The feedback could go on for a while if you do it right," said Roxbury. "The form is designed to help you get to know your Airmen, and make them feel more a part of-and-better understand their part in the Air Force culture."

In the scenario, the ratee didn't have to divulge specifics. The supervisor never asked for banking information or any other hard number figures. The ratee just said she could do better with saving, and the supervisor gave her a list of base resources that could help if she wanted to use them. They also discussed the important note at the bottom of the form, which states: "This information is to enhance communication; the rater will not utilize or document any discussed areas in Section II or IX when preparing evaluations."

Roxbury said that the entire point of those two sections is not to scorn Airman for their weaknesses, but to give them the opportunity to ask for help or more information.

"To see a feedback happen and see what kind of discussion takes place and what kind of questions arise was a great help," said Tech. Sgt. Gabriel Stocker, a class attendee from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Gunter Annex.

When the class ended, attendees like Stocker, left with the know-how they came for.

"I wanted to go to the class first to get some perspective on the form before I gave a feedback," Stocker said. "I think it's going to be beneficial and help me get through the form with ease."

Professional development course registration information can be accessed using a common access card at https://cs3.eis.af.mil/sites/OO-ED-AE-89/ProfDev/Registration/Registration.aspx.