NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Master Sgt. Nate Bettisworth spends most of his duty time managing finances at the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, but took a unique opportunity July 26 to further his professional military education.
Bettisworth graduated from the U.S. Naval Senior Enlisted Academy in Newport, R.I., Sept. 6, and was presented honors by Command Master Chief Charles Dassance, the director of the U.S. Naval Senior Enlisted Academy.
“Many Airmen don’t get the chance to attend a sister service Professional Military Education and it was an honor to be part of this program,” Bettisworth said. “Not only does the course teach you how to be a better senior enlisted leader, it also allows you to gain a better understanding of their culture and traditions. After being appointed an Honorary Chief Petty Officer…I’m proud to call my Navy counterparts Brothers and Sisters. I plan to keep in touch with quite a few of my classmates.”
According to the U.S. Naval War College website, the Navy SEA provides senior enlisted leaders education in communication skills, leadership and management, national security affairs, Navy programs, and physical fitness. The SEA is the Navy’s only professional military education institute for our senior enlisted force. Of the 1,200 students in attendance annually, the majority are active duty Navy personnel. Navy Reserve, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and International service
members make up the remainder of the student population.
Bettisworth’s class graduated 92 Senior NCOs, four of which were Air Force members.
“When I applied it took a recommendation letter from my commander and it was submitted to the Air Force Personnel Center,” Bettisworth said. “I followed up and found out about two weeks later.”
Bettisworth said to his understanding the attendance policies are changing, but proactive Senior NCOs interested in attending joint PME should work through their respective chains.
“Every level of PME provides you opportunities to network, now I’ll be able to lean on some of my shipmates for leadership challenges and questions,” Bettisworth said.
The mission of the SEA is to further develop, through education and training, the leadership capabilities of senior enlisted to give sound decision support in command, staff, management, and leadership positions in naval, joint, and multinational environments. To provide senior enlisted a sound understanding of military strategy and leadership skills; cultivating leaders who maintain a constant focus on ethics, flexibility, and mission accomplishment in an ever changing environment, according to the SEA website.
“It’s a great honor to represent the Air Force to the Navy and learn about our joint partner’s mindset and how they complete their mission,” Bettisworth said. “I’d recommend this course for any Senior NCO.”