Air University CCC talks leadership at all levels

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cody Dowell
  • Altus Air Force Base Public Affairs
For the 2019 Altus AFB SNCO Induction, the Mighty 97th had the pleasure of hosting the command chief of Air University (AU) as its guest speaker on Aug 9, 2019. Even though he specifically came to give his regards to the new senior supervisors, he shared his knowledge with those going through Professional Military Education (PME) around the base.

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Todd Simmons, AU command chief, oversees a full spectrum of Air Force education to 50,000 resident and 120,000 non-resident officers, enlisted and civilian graduates each year. This includes managing curriculums for several PME courses around the Air Force like Airmen Leadership School (ALS) and SNCO Professional Enhancement Seminar (PES).

Simmons sat down and spoke to the first class at Altus AFB since service-wide new curriculum changes have been implemented.

The old curriculum focused on five areas for Airmen entering the supervisory core of the service. These areas were: Supervisor of Airmen, Supervisory Communication, Professional Airmen, Expeditionary Airman and Course Foundations. The new curriculum has four universal courses to adapt to careers across the Air Force: Mission, Leadership, Problem Solving and Air Force Culture. The old curriculum went away from assessment testing and is now accomplishing evaluation performance tasks. All of these new items allow the new ALS curriculum to be less mechanical and focus on skills learned that are geared toward real-world application.

“Chiefs rarely see the force that they made,” said Simmons to the Airmen of the ALS class. “It takes years before the work they put into the service spreads its way across the force. The Air Force that I’ll leave behind is your Air Force. You are the gatekeepers of the next generation of this Air Force.”

After explaining the impact they will have by being a leader in the Air Force, Simmons went on to talk to members who are already leaders, but are taking their next step to becoming strategic leaders at the SNCO PES. This specific seminar is designed to introduce strategic leadership skills to newly SNCOs.

“The SNCO PES is designed to augment, not replace, information NCOs have learned throughout their career,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Ellis, the career assistance advisor assigned to the 97th Force Support Squadron. “The seminar provides newly selected master sergeants with an in-depth view of the increased levels of supervisory, leadership and managerial responsibilities which should help them make a successful transition into the SNCO tier.”

Simmons gave some tips to all the new and upcoming SNCOs about the responsibilities they have in store for them.

“A SNCO is about being a supervisor who can manage resources and people; if you cannot predict what your people need then they will suffer,” said Simmons to the SNCO PES class. “You never know when you’ll be put in a higher position of authority and you have to be prepared for when that day comes.”

After giving his experience and opinion on leadership and talking with base leadership, he used the rest of his time to talk to all enlisted Airmen of the 97th AMW at an Enlisted All-Call.

Simmons gave insight on a variety of topics ranging from tuition assistance, commissioning programs, enlisted pilot programs, Community College of the Air Force degrees and managing talents in the unit.

Even though Simmons already talked to the soon-to-be senior supervisors, as the guest speaker for the SNCO induction ceremony he shared with everyone in attendance the responsibilities that are now part of being a SNCO.

In the end, Simmons wanted to make it clear that leadership happens in every position in the Air Force and that it is every Airman’s responsibility to keep hold of that promise. The way the Air Force is shaped for tomorrow’s fight is accomplished by the people trained today.