Peterson Airmen develop leadership skills during pilot program
By Senior Airman Stephen Collier, 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 26, 2008
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo --
Twelve Airmen from the 21st Space Wing graduated a five-day leadership pilot program June 20, aimed at developing airmen and junior non-commissioned officers between professional military educational opportunities.
Known as the Accelerated Leadership Course, the leadership seminar aimed to improve upon the leadership and followership traits of each of the Airmen as well as unlock traits they didn't know existed. The seminar took place in several areas, stretching from Black Forest, Colo., north of Colorado Springs, to classes at Peterson's Outdoor Recreation.
"You can use [what you learned at the class] in the future, even if you are not a leader," said Airman 1st Class Cory Williams, 21st Services Squadron, who participated in the seminar. "I can react to other people's personalities better than I did before."
The course covered several areas of leadership and team-building training. Airmen learned to identify leadership styles, strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to deal with people who have different leadership styles. Students also participated in a number of activities that taught them how to lead a team or work as a team member.
PME courses, which range from Airman Leadership School to the NCO Academy, provide Airmen with the official military education necessary as they move into supervisory positions and are promoted through the ranks.
Yet, senior leadership in the 21st SW felt it necessary for Airmen to begin harnessing their leadership and team-building skills early on. Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Omdal, 21st Space Wing command chief, pushed to add another training opportunity, which he said "was necessary to aid the wing's backbone force in becoming a better team."
"I feel we have an obligation to invest in our Airmen with leadership opportunities," Chief Omdal said. "The ALC is another way to help our Airmen become better leaders. This course allows them to understand their strengths and the areas they need to improve upon so they can be more effective leaders and supervisors."
Chief Omdal plans to talk to the Airmen about what they learned from this seminar and will share their thoughts to help improve the program for future classes.
"I want to know what they learned from the course, how they plan to use the information they learned, not just about leadership principles but also about themselves and how they feel this will help them become better leaders," Chief Omdal said. "Additionally, we plan to follow up with their supervisors for some feedback."
Staff Sgt. Maryana St. Bernard, 21st Space Wing non-commissioned officer in charge of personnel programs, said she was pleased with the inaugural class. She said the training will likely help her in her Air Force career and life in general.
"I thought the interaction with others was very beneficial," Sergeant St. Bernard said."I got to learn from others in the program and receive feedback. Feedback is critical; everyone wants to know how they are doing in life and in their career. Feedback helps you grow regardless of whether it's positive or negative."