LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. – The Little Rock team is advancing leadership development through the creation of a week-long Supervisor 101 course, designed to meet the needs of Airmen who have recently completed Airman Leadership School at Little Rock Air Force Base .
Airman Leadership School is the first level of the enlisted professional military training continuum, which over time has evolved its curriculum to help future NCOs discover their personal leadership styles.
“Over the past two years, ALS has moved from a compliance-based format to a concept development format,” said Master Sgt. William Chesnutt, SLA commander, 19th Force Support Squadron. “We are looking for the ‘Why’ of leadership more than the ‘How’. This change is critical to creating the adaptable supervisors we need today.
However, with the change of program, the constant comments from recent ESL graduates was that they wanted more hands-on training and technical writing skills.
“ALS is a 24 day course, and we can’t fit a lot into it. We just have less time to tackle the more tactical elements of supervision, like writing advice letters, enlisted performance reports, award packages, decorations and other technical writing materials, ”Chesnutt said. “This Supervisor 101 course is intended to fill that gap, by developing supervisors who can write effectively, who can perform their responsibilities of caring for and competently develop Airmen.”
The changing needs of the force have led TLR leaders to develop the Supervision 101 course, including the objectives and content requested by Airmen, to ensure they receive the training necessary to be equipped leaders and efficient.
“Each lesson added to this course was created based on the feedback the LRT leadership received from new NCOs,” said the Chief Master Sgt. Steven Hart, command chief of the 19th AW. “We gathered feedback from newly promoted non-commissioned officers on their readiness when they first entered their unit as a supervisor and asked how we could help them better equip them to care airmen. “
In addition to technical writing skills, Airmen gain hands-on experience with dormitory inspections, feedback sessions, and accessing Air Force systems such as; bullet writing, recognition, assignment management system and virtual personnel center. They also walk through fundamental information regarding deployment processes, requirements and systems, and even participate in strategic mission planning for various career areas.
Lessons are taught by senior volunteer NCOs assigned to LRAFB, providing Airmen with a place to learn and engage in open discussions with experienced leaders.
“Giving these Airmen the chance to allay their apprehensions and ask candid questions is something I really appreciate about this course,” Hart said. “When I first became a supervisor, these conversations would have allowed me to step into my first role as a supervisor with much more confidence and ease. “
Developing leaders at the squadron level is a priority. Achieving this produces a mission-centered, values-driven and people-centered Air Force culture.
“The skills covered in this course are not new, but they are critical to the success of our students as supervisors,” said Chesnutt. Competency is a big part of confidence, and Supervisory 101 exposes students to a wide range of tasks focused on supporting their Airmen. They developed their ‘Why’ leadership during ALS. Now, LRAFB’s attack on the administrative “How”. “