Blackbelt Bullet Writing

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This guide is meant to give Air Force Airmen (total force) valuable insight into Air Force competitive writing. I specifically mention “Air Force competitive writing” to narrow the scope of what this guide focuses upon: EPRs, OPRs, LOEs, Training Reports, PRFs – any report that is listed in the AFI36-2406, as well as Award Packages (Air Force Forms 1206). Decorations, while important to our careers, is not exactly considered a competitive form of writing, as the achievement has already occurred, and the goal in decorations is to capture the achievement, not necessarily compete against others receiving a decoration.

Air Force competitive writing is becoming ever-increasingly complex and convoluted. With the hidden, unspoken rules of stratifications, the art of writing captivating PRFs for Lt Col hopefuls, obscure messages contained in and around bullets, it is undoubtedly one of the most prized skills to have in an invisible yet intense battleground of text amongst peers. In my opinion, it is the only skill in the Air Force that is under-practiced and over-valued in the Air Force, but under-applicable in the outside world. It is the only skill that requires hundreds of hours of mastery for far-reaching career implications and yet the opportunities and desire to practice are negligible.

This guide is intended to help advance your current skills beyond what is already taught in PME, commissioning sources, professional development classes, and your NCOs across your unit. This guide does not cover basic topics such as the basic structure of a bullet, minimizing excessive white space at the end of a line, etc. The title is “Blackbelt Bullet Writing” as this is meant to teach high-level skills for this craft.

Written by Captain Michael S. Vetri.

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