Five Airmen and three Navy Seabees joined 44 Marines June 15 through 29 in advancing their leadership skills during a condensed two-week Corporalsâ€™ Course at Luke Air Force Base.
The course is designed to help E-4s transition into leadership roles as junior NCOs. Though the course was condensed, nothing was left out of the curriculum, which added to the already physically and mentally demanding program, according to Staff Sgt. David Dunning, Bulk Fuel Company C, 6th Engineer Support Battalion course instructor. However, the burden of training with Marines in an abbreviated training environment did nothing to discourage the Airmen and Seabees who voluntarily signed up for the course.
â€œThe Air Force sends great Airmen,â€ Dunning said, a Phoenix native. â€œThey volunteer their best, and Iâ€™ve always been impressed. Theyâ€™re able to fall right in, even though itâ€™s demanding.â€
Cpl. Patrick Daly, an aviation ordnance technician with an engineer maintenance company out of Omaha, Neb., couldnâ€™t agree more. He said the experience working with the sister services has been â€œeye-opening.â€
â€œI didnâ€™t think theyâ€™d be up to the task,â€ Daly said in regard to the Airmen and Seabees. â€œBut theyâ€™re right up there, and I really didnâ€™t expect that. Itâ€™s awesome.â€
Senior Airman Charles Evans, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron, said he jumped at the opportunity to volunteer for the course. He had a friend in his squadron who participated in the last course, held in 2010, and wanted to challenge himself.
â€œItâ€™s hard work,â€ Evans said, from Kansas City, Mo. â€œI came here expecting to get yelled at. Itâ€™s the Marine Corps, but instead the NCOs have been very attentive to our needs. They provided a very rich learning environment.â€
Most of the students came to the school hoping to improve their leadership skills and acquire a more combat oriented mindset.
â€œMarines always have a combat mindset,â€ said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jorge Elizalde, a Seabee from Phoenix. â€œMarines have a little higher standard when it comes to [junior] leadership. Theyâ€™re put into leadership roles when theyâ€™re younger, so they have a lot of experience. We donâ€™t get a lot of leadership roles that early in our careers.â€
But ultimately, the real benefit was the chance for younger NCOs from the different services to work together.
â€œThe course fosters good interservice relationships,â€ Dunning said. â€œItâ€™s important to work together and support each other. There is a little bit of competition here, but itâ€™s between the squads and not the services.â€
The students will graduate the course with a new understanding of what it takes to be a leader and a better understanding of the joint operation environment.
â€œI probably learned the most from hearing the Marineâ€™s deployment stories, and I definitely canâ€™t wait to take the PT back to my squadron,â€ Evans said with a wide grin.