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NEWS | March 4, 2010

Seminar hones NCO supervisory skills

By Mike Joseph 502nd Air Base Wing OL-A Public Affairs

Lackland Airmen attending the NCO Professional Enhancement Seminar have an opportunity to expand their leadership skills through training and tools designed to prepare them for supervisory positions.

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Tyler, 737th Training Support Squadron, and Tech. Sgt. Raymond Cummings, 319th Training Squadron, were among 23 technical and staff sergeants who attended the 4.5-day seminar Feb. 22 - 26.

Both came away knowing it will make a difference in their Air Force careers.

"I think it's going to help me both personally and professionally," said Sergeant Cummings, who spent the first half of his 15-year military career in the Navy. He said the seminar provided beneficial information for his current job as a war skills and military studies instructor and would help him determine career goals.

Sergeant Tyler agreed with her peer about the impact of the monthly seminar, sponsored by the Lackland Professional Development Center.

"It's very useful information, very interesting and very interactive," she said. "It's an eye opener. I would definitely recommend it to other NCOs."

The seminar, which students can voluntarily register for, targets technical and staff sergeants, according to Master Sgt. William Jones, 59th Medical Wing, one of two Lackland career assistance advisors. He said developing the leadership skills of junior NCOs is a key to accomplishing the mission.

"They are more of the first-line supervisors," said Sergeant Jones. "We say that's where the rubber meets the road - those individuals have the greatest impact on our Airmen.

"Professional development betters you but also (presents) the opportunity to better others," he said. "As a leader, you pass on what you learn to those underneath you."

The seminar has detailed briefings on 16 different areas to develop and expand leadership skills for the sergeants. They cover a variety of subjects - from enlisted force structure to military professional writing to financial management to first sergeants and chiefs' panels - but the students uncover one of the most important areas.

"Networking," said Sergeant Jones. "They come here and are able to network. If we know what services you provide or what services I provide and can bring them together, then the mission is much more successful.

"We can learn more about each other and help one another in future endeavors," he added. "That's a great thing to take away from this."

Sergeant Cummings and Sergeant Tyler both said learning more about different areas and responsibilities for NCOs was beneficial, and agreed the class networking was another tool for their leadership toolbox.

It also served as a reminder of the military road they've traveled and where it leads.

"This seminar has helped remind me of my responsibilities, who I'm supposed to be and where I fit into the enlisted structure," said Sergeant Tyler. "It points out everything you need to be focused on. It shows you the whole scope and keeps you on track as an NCO."

Seminars through the Lackland Professional Development Center are open to any enlisted active duty, Reserve and ROTC detachments at Lackland, Randolph Air Force Base, Brooks City-Base and Fort Sam Houston.

For more information, contact Sergeant Jones at 292-4308 or Master Sgt. Timothy Godfrey at 671-1575.

The center also has a Web site available on the Air Force portal.