Course gives fresh outlook on leadership

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jay Ponder
  • 908th Airlift Wing
Two senior noncommissioned officers from the 357th Airlift Squadron recently attended the two-day Senior Non Commissioned Officer Leadership Course at McGuire Air Force Base, where they learned about communication, implementing trust within their organizations and teamwork, as well as current AFRC leadership issues and initiatives.

Senior Master Sgt. Anastacia Hunter and Master Sgt. Adam W. Childers, both flight engineer instructors, attended the Senior Leadership Development course at McGuire AFB .

"The class is designed to develop the leadership skills of senior NCOs in regard to mentoring the junior enlisted ranks," said Childers, "They jam a lot into the two-day course. It includes various exercises designed to develop better communication skills as well."

The course, conducted on a regional basis, uses lecture, discussion and experiential learning techniques to teach basic leadership and teamwork techniques. Topics covered include Personality and Learning Styles, Creativity, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Career Progression and Recognition and Leadership Planning.

Students also analyze their own skills and abilities.

Hunter said she learned a lot more about teamwork and how NCOs can use it to improve unity, not only at the squadron level, but throughout the wing.

"Both of them are excellent leaders who are leading the way by furthering their development and setting the example for others to follow," said Chief Master Sgt. Brent Solomon, Flight Engineer Superintendent with the 357th.

It also benefited them by making them more aware of different aspects of leadership, such what the younger airmen need today versus in the past.

"They also gave us some insight on generation gaps," Childers said referring to the difference. "The goals of a traditional reservist 10 years ago were basically to come out of the active component into the Reserves to complete their career. We're now recruiting many more airmen 'off the street' and their goals and aspirations are not necessarily to have a career in the Reserves."

The senior NCOs learn how to be a positive force with junior airmen by providing themselves as an example.

"We also learned more on mentoring and team building skills in regard to completing the mission," Hunter said. "We know what we need to do as SNCOs, but (the course) reinforced some of the skills we had already."

Childers said he has realized the importantance of communicating the wing's makeup and mission.

"What we took away from the course is (the) need to ensure members understand what the mission is. We need to pass on to airmen that their jobs are important. It allows us to fly the airplanes, and helps us implement policy in foreign countries."

"It's especially exciting for me to see two of our 'top notch' SNCOs continue to better their leadership and teambuilding skills by attending this AFRC course," said Chief Solomon, "I would encourage all of our NCOs and SNCOs to attend one of these courses to further their enlisted development."