Teaching Future Leaders - Airman Leadership School
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Erin Baxter
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
Airman Leadership School is a transitional period for many
young Airman working toward gaining a leadership role in the Air
Force. Leadership is a learned trait, and the Air Force ensures all
Airmen get a crash course in what it means to be a leader.
Instructors who teach these Airmen are responsible for shaping the
future of the Air Force, instilling lessons for a high level of
responsibility. Instructors also need to emulate and hone their
October 28, 2019 - Airmen in the Airman Leadership School perform cool-down stretches following physical training at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Airman Leadership School is a preparatory course for Airmen to learn leadership and critical-thinking skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erin Baxter)
Sgt. Tiffany R. Self, 15th Wing Professional Military Education
instructor, previously worked in the 647th Security Forces Squadron.
Once selected, she was trained in a six-month-long course to be able
to mold Airmen into leaders within their units.
have an NCOA class right after an ALS one, so we have to make sure
we don’t get the two curriculums confused,” Self said. “I think
that’s the toughest part.”
As a PME instructor, Self is
proficient in both ALS and NCOA, the Noncommissioned Officer
Academy. Most bases are equipped to conduct ALS classes, but there
are only six NCOA classes statewide and four overseas. It’s unique
that these instructors have both ALS and NCOA certifications.
The course for ALS lasts 24 days, where Airman from every career
field get together to learn how to lead subordinates effectively.
They are taught lessons on the Profession of Arms, communication,
expeditionary Airmen and supervision.
discussions about topics that were read the night before, to group
PT several times a week, the Airmen are expected to learn about Air
Force regulations and rules, as well as working well with each
other. When they complete the course, whether or not they hold the
rank of Staff Sgt., they are allowed to supervise and write
performance reports on subordinates.
September 5, 2019 - Whiteman Airman Leadership School Class 19-F graduates during a ceremony at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. Airman Leadership School trains Airmen the skills needed to lead others and work as supervisors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Parker J. McCauley)
Tech. Sgt. Bryan
Moraine, also an instructor, says he finds it rewarding to
invigorate an Airman or NCO’s confidence. Sometimes, Airmen arrive
to class and seem disinterested.
“They come here and we can
help them re-find their purpose in the Air Force,” Moraine said. “I
like it when I can reach them, and transform their views.”
instructors, they are challenged with inspiring tomorrow’s leaders,
and they continue to learn and grow in the classroom themselves. For
Self, being a PME instructor has been a rewarding experience.
“Sometimes I hear our students say that they wish they had
leadership that mentored them more,” Self said. “As instructors, we
can get those different perspectives and take it back to our work
centers. The different experiences help out the instructors just as
much as it will help the students out, if not more.”
Developmental Special Duty nominations occur twice a year in which
commanders have the opportunity to submit technical sergeants or
master sergeants that they believe would be good for the job.
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