Core Values Coaching empowers 86th AW leaders

Story and photos by Senior Airman Larissa Greatwood
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Tina Erzen, Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development program director, teaches a Core Values Coaching workshop to 86th Airlift Wing leaders March 21 on Ramstein. The 86th AW invited Erzen to teach on the importance of communication, empathy and guiding peers in a positive direction with personal and professional goals.
Tina Erzen, Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development program director, teaches a Core Values Coaching workshop to 86th Airlift Wing leaders March 21 on Ramstein. The 86th AW invited Erzen to teach on the importance of communication, empathy and guiding peers in a positive direction with personal and professional goals.

Leaders from the 86th Airlift Wing had the opportunity to be the first Air Force members outside the training environment to participate in Core Values Coaching March 21 to 25.

The 86th AW invited Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development Program Director Tina Erzen to come to Ramstein and teach this unique workshop.

CVC is primarily taught to cadets at the Air Force Academy and has been nationally recognized and honored with the 2013 Jon C. Dalton Best Practices in College Student Values award.


The training focuses on teaching Airmen the importance of communication, empathy and guiding peers in a positive direction with personal and professional goals.

“The purpose of the training is to take the best of what there is to offer and bring it to the leaders for their professional development to, in turn, help Airmen in the best ways possible,” Erzen said. “It’s important to empower our Airmen and help them along the way but also for them to learn the skills themselves.”

According to Erzen, the training not only teaches leaders how to talk with their Airmen but it also teaches the leaders how to become better Airmen themselves.

“One of the really cool things about this training is the communication skills we teach that help make all bonds stronger. Whether it’s co-workers, supervisors or leaders, Airmen to Airmen become more aware of how to communicate with one another to make those bonds stronger,” Erzen said.

86th Airlift Wing leaders participate in a hands-on activity during a Core Values Coaching workshop March 21 on Ramstein. CVC training is primarily taught to cadets at the Air Force Academy and has been nationally recognized and honored with the 2013 Jon C. Dalton Best Practices in College Student Values award.
86th Airlift Wing leaders participate in a hands-on activity during a Core Values Coaching workshop March 21 on Ramstein. CVC training is primarily taught to cadets at the Air Force Academy and has been nationally recognized and honored with the 2013 Jon C. Dalton Best Practices in College Student Values award.

Jan Devitt, 86th AW community support coordinator and the individual who coordinated Erzen’s visit, said the training far exceeded her expectations.

“After going through the training, I can now see how vital it is,” Devitt said. “I think it’s good to be reminded that no matter where we are or what we’re doing, someone always sees. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the importance of core values, so this was a good reminder to not only live by them but set the example for others.”

Whether a person is a coach or being coached, everyone involved was able to benefit from the training, Devitt added.
“As part of the training, we had to pick from a list of virtues that we wanted to change about ourselves,” Devitt said. “I had such an awesome partner that, in the beginning, I came up with a virtue and he was able to get me to realize the issue was really something else.”

With the training reaching the operational Air Force population, the lessons learned can be put into use when it comes to improving communication and the overall Ramstein mission.

“I hope this training gives the Airmen at Ramstein the unique opportunity to take skills they already have and harness them in a very purposeful way to help their fellow Airmen grow and develop,” Erzen said. “The intent is for Ramstein to continue to lead the fight and move forward in a very empowering way and enhance the things they’re already doing to keep in alignment with the core values.”

With the training the leaders received, they now have the tools to teach their Airmen and peers the importance of communication, empathy and support for each other. By strengthening these bonds, Airmen can focus on the mission to the best of their abilities.