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A sneek-peek into new NCO Enrichment Course

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Sarah Pokorney
  • 124th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Thirty noncommissioned officers, nominated by their Idaho Air Guard commanders and chiefs, spent a week getting hand-on experience in effective leadership techniques, improving the communication process and conducting a self-assessment at the NCO Enrichment course at Gowen Field here May 12-16.

Chief Master Sgt. Rob Lyons, Joint Forces Professional Development said, "It's not uncommon for Airmen to have as many as ten years between Airman Leadership School and their Noncommissioned Officer Academy--yes, ten years! This course is intended to fill that gap and give NCOs the skills they need to be effective leaders and communicators."

Chief Master Sgt. Rob Lyons, and Chief Master Sgt. James McMonigal, 124th Air Support Operations Squadron lead the class with the support of Master Sgt. Sarah Pippit, IFTU and Master Sgt. Katharine McCloud, 212th First Sgt. Command and Control Squadron. The four major themes of the course were: self, others, tools and writing--which built upon one another as the course progressed. The course started with a focus on self, which involved leadership, self-reflection, and a self-assessment of strengths and motivations.

Col. Sherrie McCandless, Commander of the 124th Fighter Wing, shared her recommendations with the students on the topic of "self," she said, "take this opportunity to learn something about yourself because you are not the same person you were when you joined and you won't be the same person you are now, in the future."

Each morning the students started their day by enthusiastically reciting the Airman's Creed:
I am an American Airman.
I am a warrior.
I have answered my nation's call.
I am an American Airman.
My mission is to fly, fight, and win.
I am faithful to a proud heritage,
A tradition of honor,
And a legacy of valor.
I am an American Airman,
Guardian of freedom and justice,
My nation's sword and shield,
Its sentry and avenger.
I defend my country with my life.
I am an American Airman:
Wingman, leader, warrior.
I will never leave an Airman behind,
I will never falter,
And I will not fail.
The course also covered performance counseling, effective leadership, bullet writing (along with writing awards and EPRs), effective communication, situational leadership, the disciplinary process, mentoring, and incorporated many guest speakers throughout the week. On the final day of class the students learned about 124th Fighter Wing history and enjoyed a Q&A session lunch with a panel of wing leaders.
From 2005 to 2007 the enrichment course was offered only to senior enlisted ranks. Lyons recounted the general sentiment from the earlier course attendees, "They were telling us, 'this is great stuff but we really needed it when we were when we were staffs and techs'."

This feedback along with more recent demand, from junior NCO ranks, for more leadership training, prompted the Chief's Group to modify the course structure and offer it to junior NCOs. Lyons explained that the Chief's Group plans to offer the course two times each year and have students from many different workcenters in each class which will bring diverse perspectives and insights to prompt engaging class discussions.

If you are an E-5 or E-6 interested in personal and professional development to be a better leader today and senior leader of tomorrow then let your supervisor know that you are interested in attending the NCO Enrichment Course. The next class is scheduled for July 29 through August 2 here at Gowen Field.