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Early Enrollment: Effective Jan. 1, completion of the resident Air Force senior noncommissioned officer academy or a sister service equivalent will be the requirement for promotion to senior master sergeant, announced Air Force Personnel Center officials Wednesday. This policy change will supersede the current standard that calls for Air Force SNCOA completion as a prerequisite for promotion to chief master sergeant. "By providing [professional military education] earlier and more evenly spaced over an enlisted airman's career, we ensure enlisted leaders have the tools they need to be successful sooner and at more relevant periods of their career," said CMSAF James Roy. The new policy will also align the Air Force with the other services' enlisted PME requirements, reduce the time span between NCO academy and SNCOA attendance by approximately two years, and increase the return on the investment for attending advanced PME, according to AFPC. (Randolph report by Daniel Elkins)