Wisconsin ANG enhances program to help future leaders

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cameron Lewis,
  • 115th Fighter Wing

VOLK FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Wis. - The Wisconsin Air National Guard’s State Enlisted Development Program has been helping develop future enlisted leaders across the state since its first class graduated in 2012.

Now, after nine years of building upon the program and taking into account U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.’s strategic approach to “Accelerate, Change or Lose,” the SEDP facilitators are changing this all-inclusive course.

“Historically, individual classes had been held over a vast period of drill weekends,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Linda Koenen, an SEDP facilitator and human resource adviser at the 115th Fighter Wing, Truax Field in Madison. “Understanding that the day-to-day operations during drill are very challenging to work around, we knew something had to be done.”

To capture a larger audience and provide the opportunity to more Airmen, the lengthy program was consolidated into a one-week course that will teach noncommissioned officers and senior NCOs across the state about communicating as a leader, emotional intelligence, promotion boards and more.

With over 85 attendees, the beta class, held Nov. 2-5 at Volk Field, signified the change will help Airmen be more involved in the program.

“I’ve always wanted to attend the SEDP courses,” said Staff Sgt. Tiana Buchanan, a personnel systems manager with the 115th FW. “The consolidation finally gave me the chance to see what the program is all about, and I’m looking forward to what will be offered in the future.”

In the military, professional development presents itself in many ways throughout a member’s career to benefit them militarily and as a civilian.

“When you invest in yourself, it will pay dividends for you down the road no matter your career path,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Linda Schwartzlow, the command chief at Volk Field. “Professional development is a choice, and for you to take a chance and come here for this class shows you want to grow and become a leader.”

The next course is scheduled June 27 at Volk Field Air National Guard Base.