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Enlisted Leadership Symposium focuses on development tools for Airmen

CAMP DAWSON, W.Va. --

More than 350 Air National Guard Airmen from across the 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia gathered here August 15-17 for the ANG’s Enlisted Leadership Symposium to foster leadership development and professional education.

Airmen from each enlisted tier: junior enlisted, noncommissioned officers and senior NCOs, as well as first sergeants, were selected by their wings to attend and share what they learned within their units once they return.

"I hope these Airmen leave with a renewed sense of their ability to positively change their environment, their wings and their state,” said Chief Master Sgt. Ronald C. Anderson, ANG command chief master sergeant, and symposium host. “I’d like to see them take some energy from this and realize that they have ownership of the future success of the ANG. It’s them, not me, who has the ability to make it work better tomorrow than it does today.”

Topics covered included cross-generational communication, mentoring, attitude and perspective, and enlisted heritage, among others.

“I think the reality is that when you attend an event like this, some of it resonates immediately, but some of it may take two or three years before you notice it influencing your decision-making,” said Anderson. “That’s been my experience, and also the experience of some of my fellow command chiefs. Hopefully, every single person here will be positively touched by something we taught here.”

Developing social resiliency and providing opportunities to network across the Guard with other Airmen was another highlight of the event.

“Every wing–even different wings in the same state–has its own culture,” Anderson said. “Because of those organizational dynamics, I wanted commanders and especially first-line supervisors to identify those rock stars who would really benefit from this event–the quiet professionals who are crushing it for us every day, who can go back and communicate to their peers that every single one of us is important to the mission.”