New curriculum comes to NCOA

by Airman 1st Class Tryphena Mayhugh 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Kisling Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Kapaun Air Station is working toward switching to a new curriculum called the Intermediate Leadership Experience expected to begin in early 2016.

The ILE will replace the Legacy Class and is a blended learning experience that consists of two parts: an online class called Course 15 followed by an in-residence course.

Once a staff or technical sergeant has reached seven years of service in the Air Force, they have one year to complete Course 15 before the NCO can be considered for the in-residence portion, promotion or re-enlistment.

Tech. Sgt. Mark Bergmann, Kisling NCOA director of operations, takes every opportunity to educate the NCOs with whom he meets about the course. He asks if they are aware that without the course completion, they could be ineligible for promotion and re-enlistment. Most of the Airmen he talks to are shocked by this information.

“That’s the important piece,” Bergmann said. “The prep work has to be completed; otherwise it’s going to hold them back. People who want to be proactive with their careers and want to have a career, have to get the Course 15 completed.”

With the course completed, NCOs with eight to 12 years of service will be eligible to attend the in-residence portion. From here they will be able to use what they learned in the prep course and apply it to practical situations.

The course not only prepares an NCO for the in-residence portion of the curriculum, but it also gives the student nine credit hours toward their Community College of the Air Force degree.

One difference from the Legacy Class is that the ILE curriculum ensures the experiences and information learned through NCOA are provided to NCOs at the earliest possible time.

“This is a very exciting course,” said Senior Master Sgt. Dan Kenemore, Kisling NCOA director of education. “We’ve been getting surveys for years that people wished they had this information earlier in their career. This guidance gives us the capability to deliver these tools earlier, so it’s a return on investment for our NCO corps.”

Providing Airmen with leadership skills earlier in their career wasn’t the only reason for a switch to a new curriculum; it was also to keep from being left behind.

“The next generations in a society are always evolving,” Bergmann said. “We look at the way people like to learn, and this course is one of those things that we’re doing to stay with, or ahead of, the learning curve. We want to deliver the material the way people want to hear it.”

The ILE course is still in the testing phase, but according to Kenemore, the results so far have been positive.

“Both staff and students who have been going through the course, even people who were reluctant of change, have come out the course and say this is a good thing,” Kenemore said. “It’s hard; it’s different; but it takes a lot of those critical thinking skills that you need to be a leader in our Air Force today. This course is going to give the feedback needed to make better NCOs, better supervisors and better leaders in the Air Force.”

For more information about the ILE course call 489-6502 or 0631-536-6502, or visit the Kisling NCOA Facebook page at