The term Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME) is a general term used by all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces to describe the formal system of education each branch provides to its enlisted personnel.
EPME is distinct from the technical training service members receive for their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC), or Navy Rating.
The 17th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James A. Cody shared on Facebook:
'A year ago we continued our transition to a blended learning EPME model by enrolling the first group of Airmen into Course 15, the Distance Learning portion of NCO Academy. At the same time we implemented a new policy that stated Airmen would become ineligible for promotion and re-enlistment if they did not complete the course within a year. That deadline is fast approaching, and as we communicate with Airmen, we're recognizing that we need more time to validate notification and acknowledgment procedure and ensure test centers have the time and capacity to meet the requirements.
Therefore, we will temporarily delay implementation of the reenlistment and promotion policy until 1 Jan 2017.
It's still a 12-month course, and we expect Airmen to complete it in that time unless they receive an approved extension...which commanders can recommend. We do firmly believe in our EPME; it is critical to our development as leaders in the profession of Arms. But we also recognize we need to get this right as we transition, and we will... '
An airman is a member of the air component of a nation's armed service. In the United States Air Force, it can also refer to a specific enlisted rank. More informally, it can refer to any member of an air force, or to any pilot, aviator, or aircrewman, military or civilian, male or female. The equivalent in the British Royal Air Force and some other Commonwealth countries is aircraftman/woman.