NCO Leadership Development Course gets makeover

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nicole King
  • Air Force Reserve Command

Air Force Reserve Command’s Professional Development Center here recently hosted its first iteration of the newly revised NCO Leadership Development Course designed to align what students learn with the current priorities of the Air Force and Department of Defense.

“This course revision focuses on the new foundational competencies, but the biggest significant change in the course is having students actually supervise Airmen,” said Dave Viskochil, the PDC curriculum development manager. “We talk about giving feedback and giving Airmen Comprehensive Assessments and they are actually doing that in the course rather than just talking about what you should do.”

Aside from the increased interaction and opportunities to practice supervisor skills, the class now has more technology integrated to make the content more engaging and relevant. It also places a focus on Air Force Reserve culture and history.

“We call it the NCOLDC experience,” said Senior Master Sgt. Virginia Wynn, the manager for enlisted professional development at the PDC who came up with the idea of adding more interaction in the course. “Unlike Airman Leadership School or the NCO Academy where you learn about evaluations and ACAs, but are just learning about the tool. In this case, you actually have an Airman who you are doing an ACA on. You are going to basically follow the life of being a supervisor.”

So far, the feedback from the first beta course has been positive with students commenting on how it improved their communication skills.

“This course has definitely helped me out with dealing with different types of communication and taught me how to effectively reach out to my Airmen,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Magalski, who works at the 439th Airlift Wing command post at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts. “We learned how to deal with different situations in different ways. There's not just one singular approach. It's important to get to know you Airmen and ensure their needs are being met and that they are aware of our expectations."

Another student had similar feelings about the course.

"I thought the class was great," said Staff Sgt. Ashley Henderson, a 94th Maintenance Squadron metals technology Airman at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia. "One thing I'm going to take back to my unit from this class is being able to communicate more effectively and being able to relate better to the people I'm working with. It showed me that everybody's human and we're all probably going through the same things.”

Two more classes are scheduled this year – one in October and one in November. Classes are also scheduled for February and March in 2023. After the curriculum is out of the beta test stage, trainers from different regions will provide the class to Airmen regionally.

Information on enrolling in the course will be sent out by the numbered Air Forces after the regular classes are available, currently scheduled for fiscal 2024.