Command opportunity found in financial management leadership program Published Dec. 16, 2016 By Kat Bailey Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Active-duty officers in year groups 2004 to 2008 can apply for a special command opportunity through the 2017 Financial Management Leadership Program. The program is open to all eligible non-finance line officers with the exception of fighter pilots, and offers an expansion of potential command opportunities, particularly for those officers in career fields where few command prospects exist. “The Financial Management Leadership Program provides future Air Force leaders exposure to Air Force financial management, specifically the budgeting and execution process,” said Capt. Christopher Decker, the comptroller assignment officer at the Air Force Personnel Center. “The program offers an outside-the-box option to officers who might not have leadership opportunities.” The four-year program provides officers with leadership and financial management experience as comptroller squadron commanders in addition to developing critical business management skills. Squadrons are the basic, building block organizations in the Air Force, providing specific support or operational capability. Since its inception in 2003, more than 25 officers have participated in the two-phase program. The first phase is a two-year internship at a major command to gain a broad understanding of budgets and finance by rotating through the various financial management functions. Officers also attend both the Professional and Defense Financial Management Courses in-resident at Air University which examine the major aspects of Air Force financial management and provide professional development education to mid-career and senior financial managers within the Defense Department. In phase two, officers receive a two-year command assignment at a comptroller squadron and serve concurrently as the administrative control commander to wing staff agencies. As the wing’s chief financial officer, they also manage a multimillion-dollar annual operating budget for the wing commander. With a command assignment under their belts, program participants return to their core career fields. “They now understand how the budget process works at the squadron and wing levels as well as at the MAJCOM,” Decker said. “Under the force development construct, this is a highly valuable pairing for future strategic leaders.” Interested officers require a temporary release from their career field functional assignment team as well as senior rater endorsement. Application packages are due to Air Force Personnel Center by Jan.13, 2017. The selection board will convene later that month. Full eligibility criteria and application procedures can be found on myPers. Select “Active Duty Officer” from the dropdown menu and search “FMLP.” For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to myPers. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following these instructions.