When technical sergeants become master sergeants they go through a three-day Senior NCO Professional Enhancement Course to equip them to assume the role of senior NCO.
“This course helps newly selected master sergeants determine a career progression and find out what they need to do to excel in their career,” said Master Sgt. Dustin Withrow, 56th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor.
Withrow said the course is important to have because of the professional development gap between the Professional Military Education’s Advanced Leadership Training and Airman Leadership School.
“This training reinforces the tools learned and reiterates the professional military education taught in ALS,” he said.
Senior NCOs, active and retired, are tasked to teach the course to give the new leaders a direct perspective of the different subjects.
“All subjects in the course are vital to personal growth and development for senior NCOs and, more importantly, for Airmen under their direct care,” said Master Sgt. Emory Flagg, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment inspection and repair NCO-in-charge. “It also provides a fresh comprehensive review of important needs and much more for senior NCOs to add to their professional tool boxes for life.”
The course provides training on leadership and management skills, importance of team cohesion and military writing to further prepare them for their introduction in the senior NCO tier. The fighter wing leadership, a chief master sergeant panel and a first sergeants’ panel will also meet with the students to provide their perspectives on the new roles the Airmen will be taking on.
“There is a huge transition from NCO to senior NCO,” said Tech. Sgt. Zenobia Muhammad, 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron maintenance scheduler, who is a master sergeant select. “We go from being technical experts to managing Airmen. It also helps prepare those of us who haven’t been to the NCO academy in a while.”
The course put an emphasis on ensuring that the newly selected master sergeants receive the training during this pivotal transition in their career.
“We didn’t just receive information and were told to go out and use it,” Muhammad said. “They talk about the tools and show us how to use them to benefit our careers.”
The course not only helps the new senior NCOs themselves, but it benefits the Airmen being led by them.
“The course emphasizes to the master sergeant selects what their leadership skills are today, where they need to be tomorrow and how to filter down this developmental knowledge to their subordinates,” Withrow said. “It’s all about making tomorrow’s Air Force better through leadership today.”