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Amn/NCO Council: developing tomorrow's leaders

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Amy Adducchio
  • 178 FW/PA
"Today's Airmen are tomorrow's leaders. Amn/NCO [Council] offers leadership opportunities to our Airmen and NCOs," said Staff Sgt. Chad Carter, vice president of the Amn/NCO Council. While the general mission of the council remains the same, the council has undergone drastic changes since Sergeant Carter joined approximately a year and a half ago.

"It's more about mentorship now--that was the purpose of the shift," said Sergeant Carter.

The council focuses on Airmen professional development courses for the council members, ambassadorship, and internal and community service.

The use of development courses during council meetings is one of the more prominent changes.

First, a few senior leaders on base identified where the program was lacking and what skill sets around the base were needed, said Chief Master Sgt. Ottis LeMaster, the 178th Fighter Wing command chief. "We started looking, and what we saw was that those Airmen who went to in-residence PME had a stronger sense of their professional duties...a little bit better than those who were doing the CDC courses," said Chief Master Sgt. Ottis LeMaster,

Chief LeMaster, Senior Master Sgt. Marcus Bosch, Senior Master Sgt. Curt Rodgers and Master Sgt. Daniel Crock wrote the courses and determined what key pieces to include to achieve the objective.

The curriculum includes topics and skills such as public speaking, filling out AF Form 1206 Nomination for Award, conflict resolution. The main goal is to obtain "better prepared junior NCOs and Airmen to function in a war-time scenario in the joint setting effectively and professionally," said Chief LeMaster.

Each block of instruction contains one session of teaching, followed by another session of implementation.

The Amn/NCO Council members completed the first block of instruction, which was public speaking, in February. In addition to the public speaking presentation, council members received effective speaking books as a resource. The students were charged with the task of creating and presenting a briefing to give at the following meeting.

"It gives members the confidence to get up and [speak] in small shops...they may not get that opportunity," said Sergeant Carter. The council will also have a chance to practice these skills when they brief council activities quarterly to their duty sections or role calls.

AF Form 1206 Nomination for Award writing is included as another block of training in the curriculum. Members were given completed 1206s to evaluate.

"I learned, when looking at the 1206s, [that] writing skills varied," said Sergeant Carter. Recognizing Airmen's achievements and then representing them accurately on paper is critical, he said.

"The big picture is basically phased: harness skills and abilities today, then pass them on to the junior NCOs," said Sergeant Carter. After all courses are taught, council members will teach these courses within the council in the future. Later, trained council members will disseminate information base wide. Hopefully, our council will be able to initialize similar programs at other units, said Chief LeMaster.

Another function of the council is to bridge the enlisted ranks.

"[The council]'s a mediator between the higher-ups and subordinates," said Sergeant Carter. "We want them to be a find out information and get back to their direct work groups." The other side of this function is to bring ideas and concerns from the base community to the council's attention.

The last key aspect of the Amn/NCO Council is performing base and community service.
Service to the base includes addressing unmet needs of the base's Airmen and creating joint-support for the Company Grade Officer's Council, Chief's Council and First Sergeant's Council. The Amn/NCO Council also serves as a mock interview board for any applicants who request extra preparation.

Regarding community service, the Amn/NCO Council has supported the Springfield Memorial Day Parade. Outside the direct community, the council participated in a service project in which it helped rebuild a home affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Through the Amn/NCO Council, Sergeant Carter had the opportunity to plan a social event during the second weekend of the deployment. The group visited the USS Alabama Battleship.

"At first it was a little intimidating, but we had a bus load of interest--it was very encouraging to see all of the interest," he said.

The Amn/NCO Council is always looking for new members, as stated during a council meeting. The group meets at 10 a.m. every Saturday of drill in the civil engineering classroom on base. Ranks airman basic through technical sergeant are encouraged and welcome to attend.