Professional development course focuses on Airmen


Professional development course focuses on Airmen

Posted 10/11/2012   Updated 10/11/2012
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by MSgt. Jerry Harlan
AFNORTH PA

10/11/2012 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. –  In today’s Air Force, professional development is key to sustaining mission capability and advancement.

At the Western Air Defense Sector at Joint Base Lewis-McChord the top enlisted leaders have developed an in-house Professional Development Course (PDC) to provide the enlisted members the vital resources, references, and tools needed to enhance their supervisory and leadership skills.

What started as a small gathering of Senior Noncommissioned Officers has blossomed into a full-blown multi-level course.

“We started with three or four of us SNCO’s in a room trying to devise a way to help our junior enlisted with basic Airman-ship,” said Senior Master Sgt. Allan Lawson, G-Flight Superintendant. “From there it has grown into 3 different levels covering our Airmen Basics all the way to Captains.”

According to Chief Master Sgt. Trish Almond, Operations Superintendant, the courses were developed as “Guard 101″ in order to teach the newest members the basics of being an effective unit member.

“Initially the PDC was developed to help these Airmen with the ‘would have been nice to know when I was younger’ types of things – leadership skills, speaking, and time management,” said Chief Almond. “We took the feedback from the first couple of courses and developed them into the three separate courses we have today.”

Each level of the PDC is between 2-5 days and targeted towards a certain portion of the unit populace in order to best develop those needs based on rank and skill level.

PDC Level 1 is geared towards Airmen Basic through Tech Sergeants and is ideally suited for midway between Airman Leadership School and the NCO Academy. The focus is on public speaking, professional writing, the Profession of Arms, financial basics, and physical fitness.

“Level 1 definitely helped me prepare for NCO Academy,” said Tech. Sgt. Jason Chapman, Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of WADS Standards and Evaluations. “Prior to the course I had very little experience writing EPR’s and awards. I feel like I had a definite advantage at the Academy.”

Level 2 is also geared towards Airmen through Tech Sergeants but they must be a Level 1 graduate first. This course provides hands on time for the members to work on Enlisted Performance Report bullet writing, the performance feedback process, and leadership and force development.

“After attending both Level 1 and Level 2 I now have a better understanding of the enlisted performance report process and why supervisors make certain decisions,” said Chapman. “I have learned to take a more aggressive role in my own feedback and EPR processes.”

Level 3 of the PDC is for Senior NCO’s and Company Grade Officers – Lieutenants and Captains. This course is designed to enhance supervisory and leadership skills to effectively lead teams through big picture perspective, delegation, team building, and self reflection.

“I have seen definite growth in the Airmen in my flight since the inception of the PDC,” said Lawson. “This growth has led to 100 percent supervisor and Sector leadership support for continued courses and hopeful expansion to other units across the country.”

Currently courses are held throughout the year and have graduated 290 students so far.

Article source: http://www.1af.acc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123321814

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