At nearly every rank of the Air Force there is a professional development course awaiting completion. But what happens when there is a lull in training? Where do NCOs and senior NCOs go to reaffirm their values, norms and supervisory skills? What can they do to reinvigorate their core values?
This was the question the Air Force set out to answer and the reason for Air Force-wide professional enhancement seminars.
“It’s possible for Airmen to get frustrated on their way to becoming great leaders, but these courses help by allowing them to sit and talk with peers who are sharing in the same supervisory conflicts,” said Master Sgt. Etienne Tousignant, 86th Force Support Squadron career assistance adviser.
Tousignant added that the future of the Air Force relies on its NCOs to step up into the given roles.
“The Air Force is constantly changing and evolving; we have to be cognizant of that and work together to promote those changes for the better,” Tousignant said. “There will be failures along the way, but it is failure that allows us to learn and become better supervisors.”
The PES is available twice a year for senior NCOs and 10 times a year for NCOs to ensure those who are eligible receive the chance to attend.
“NCOs are the key components that drive mission success. They are charged with accepting and executing all duties and responsibilities in a timely and effective manner,” said Chief Master Sgt. Lisa Booth, 86th Airlift Wing Staff Agency superintendent. “To do this, NCOs need the tools necessary to balance between their Airmen and their work; professional enhancement courses are but one of those tools in their arsenal.”
“The Air Force is constantly changing and evolving; we have to be cognizant of that and work together to promote those changes for the better.” — Master Sgt. Etienne Tousignant, 86th Force Support Squadron career assistance adviser
Both the NCO and senior NCO courses have at least 16 required topics per Air Force Instruction 36-2624, The Career Assistance Advisor, First Term Airmen Center and Enlisted Professional Enhancement Programs. The specifics and standardization of senior NCO and NCO PE were established in 2009, nearly 10 years after the career assistance advisor program was created, which was for retention purposes. Both courses are geared toward growing the enlisted core professionally.
“The seminar was very informative and beneficial,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Carreon, 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron unit deployment manager. “I learned how to better take care of my Airmen who work with me and how to find their strengths and weaknesses, to help them whenever problems arise.”