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Air Force Sergeant completes formal course from all military branches

By A1C Justine Rho | 502 Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Dec. 12, 2014

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland — An Airman from the 502nd Civil Engineering Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland achieved distinguished graduate from the Marine Corps Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy Advanced Course in October this year and has completed a formal course from every military branch.

Master Sgt. Ryan McClary, explosive ordinance disposal flight chief, has completed Navy EOD School; Air Force Airman Leadership School and NCO Academy; Army Jump, Air Assault and Repel Master's School; and the Marine Corps SNCO Academy Advanced Course.

"Attending formal training or professional military education courses from different sister services enable us to see the same issues from different viewpoints,"  McClary said.

McClary elaborates by describing the different perspectives of the Air Force and the Marine Corps.

"The Air Force focuses more time on educating Airmen thinking that a higher level of education creates better decisions," McClary said. "Whereas the Marines focus more on the combat mindedness."

The variance in focus showed similarities and differences in leadership methods between sister services, McClary explained . 

"There was value gained in understanding the Marine Corps thought process and methods for evaluating Marines and how it compare to the Air Force," said Senior Master Sgt. Jacob Campbell, McClary's supervisor. "He also made note of the fact that there are many similarities in how the Marines handle issues."

Campbell continues by explaining the value in attending a sister service PME or formal course.

"This is the embodiment of the 'one team, one fight' mindset that is present in the Department of Defense and reinforces the fact that people in all career fields are crossing service lines everyday," said Campbell, JBSA EOD flight superintendent.

McClary describes how his leadership role as a senior airman at the Army Jump School gave him experience in a joint environment at a young age. 

"I learned how to tone down the service idioms, like the acronyms, and this taught me how to speak more clearly," McClary said. "I learned that clear communication is a key leadership tool."

Wanting to learn form another perspective, McClary applied to participate in the Marine Corps Academy in lieu of the Air Force SNCO Academy because he had worked with the other branches, said McClary.

"I enjoy education," said McClary. "I feel the more I learn the better decisions I make and I am constantly pursuing as many opportunities as I can handle. "

Along with his drive for excellence; McClary said he enjoys bringing the Air Force to the other services.

"Every time I've worked with the other services I heard 'Thanks for bringing the Air Force,'" said McClary. "Being able to bring the Air Force forward on a good note has always been important to me."

"Sergeant McClary constantly strives to be a better leader, manager, mentor and Airman," said Campbell. "His ability to work with openness and honesty with everyone in the flight and outside the unit proves that his intention is to do what is best for his people and the Air Force."

McClary is working on his master's degree and training for a triathlon. He says his career goal is to continue to serve in the Air Force as long as he is useful and relevant. And after retirement, he plans on opening an all-day boys and girls club where kids that don't have someone to spend time with can get positive social interaction.

When asked to give a word of advice to Airmen, McClary said, "It is important to set goals in your life even if they are short term and when things get rough just remember what motivates you."