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New leadership course for chiefs in final development

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFPN) -- Although the transition to chief master sergeant may not be seamless, a new course will aim at eliminating some of the obstacles newly promoted chiefs may encounter.

The Chief Master Sergeant Leadership Course, developed at the Air Force Senior NCO Academy at nearby Gunter Annex, becomes the fourth level of professional military education for enlisted Airmen. The course was an idea generated by Air Force senior leaders more than a year ago.

“This course is not a repeat of any other level of PME,” said Chief Master Sgt. David Andrews, Air Force Senior NCO Academy commandant. “For the first time, we will focus on the strategic level of leadership for enlisted personnel.”

"This course accurately reflects that there is more growth and development to be done once a person makes chief master sergeant," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray.

Everything the chiefs learn will deal with issues at the wing-level and above.

Starting Aug. 18, more than 46 active-duty, Guard and Reserve chiefs will arrive here for a workshop to assist in the final stages of development for the course. The chiefs, representing every major command, will provide feedback as subject-matter experts.

The workshop is designed to mirror the actual eight-academic-day course, which will include having the chiefs sit in the same classes future students will attend.

“Rather than bring in a bunch of new chiefs (for the first class), we asked the Air Force to send us experienced chiefs with vastly diverse work histories and career fields to attend the initial run, then assist in perfecting the course with critiques and constructive feedback,” Chief Andrews said.

The chief said one course objective is teaching attendees how to effectively communicate with their audiences and how to deal with the media.

“These are things chiefs used to have to learn through the school of hard knocks. Now, they will be better prepared,” Chief Andrews said.

"Our Airmen today deserve the absolutely best leadership [we] can give them," Chief Murray said. "This course will help develop those leaders."

While countless people provided assistance and input for course development, none were more instrumental than those assigned to the College for Enlisted PME, Chief Andrews said. The college worked feverishly from October 2003 to June 2004 to complete lesson plans and course objectives.

The first class tentatively is scheduled for February 2005; attendees will come from the November chief’s promotion release. (Courtesy of Air Education and Training Command News Service)

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