NCO PD courses fill education gaps

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Amanda Savannah
  • Public Affairs
Professional military education is something every Airman encounters during his or her career -- several times, in fact, as Airmen step higher in rank.
However, leaders have understood there are lapses in this education that must be filled with refresher information for junior and senior NCOs, as well as Airmen in the first tier.
One such lapse is the time between Airman Leadership School and the NCO Academy. To bridge the gap and offer leadership and professional development to NCOs at this point in their careers, a NCO professional development seminar educated Vance Air Force Base NCOs Monday to Thursday.
"The seminar targets NCOs who have been out of ALS for a few years and have not yet been to NCOA," said Tech. Sgt. Dave McClelland, 71st Mission Support Squadron enlisted professional development NCO in charge. "This gives them a chance to refresh and further develop their supervisory skills."
The quarterly class includes what is expected of them, their career progression, the Enlisted Force Structure, team building exercises, ethics and core values. It also includes the art of argument, training and education, the art of discipline, a military writing class, strategies for dealing with people and mentorship and counseling.
"Success in any endeavor begins with 'attitude,'" said Sergeant McClelland. "These courses are focused on giving NCOs the tools, not only to self-evaluate their own mindset, but that of their subordinates as well."
Staff Sgt. Michael Reed, 71st Security Forces Squadron, appreciated the up front way the seminar information was provided.
"It wasn't sugar coated, it was straightforward," he said.
He said it was also nice to see units sent their office chiefs and not just any member of each section.
Staff Sgt. Richard White, 71st Communications Squadron, enjoyed the realistic learning environment and is looking forward to being a better supervisor.
"The class was realistic because we were able to get the information we needed from people, not books," he said. "People can give you their personal experiences as a supervisor, and people at each base also have local information, where a general guide to supervision would not.
"I'm looking forward to broadening as a supervisor, and improving my supervisory skills."
Sergeant McClelland said he enjoys learning from the participants as well as imparting leadership information.
"As an instructor, I enjoy providing know-ledge from my 16 years of military experience, as well as my 40 years of life experiences," he said. "The seminar also offers a great networking opportunity, and everyone, including myself, learns from everyone else's experiences. We all have different approaches to supervising, so we all bring something to the table."
Supervisors of NCOs at these lapsing stages of PM are highly encouraged to let their Airmen attend the seminars.
"Every Airman, and thus every office, can benefit, because this is a great opportunity for NCOs to increase their supervisor tool boxes," Sergeant McClelland said.
A senior NCO PD seminar for those between NCO Academy and senior NCO Academy takes place Oct. 12 to 15. Vance NCOs can also access professional development information on the base' s home page. Under the "information" link, choose "base information" and then "professional development."