Taking leadership skills to new levels reaps lifelong rewards Published Jan. 4, 2007 By Staff Sgt. Kristin Mack 301st Fighter Wing NAVAL AIR STATION JOINT RESERVE BASE FORT WORTH, Texas -- Some of the finest leaders on Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth were on hand to greet the first class of students attending the Air Force Reserve Command's Senior NCO Leadership Course held here Nov. 18-19. This involved, two-day training weekend kicked off with a social mixer Friday evening at the Desert Storm Conference Center. The mixer allowed students and faculty from AFRC bases around the country to get acquainted before settling into training 7:30 a.m. the next morning. After a light breakfast was served Saturday morning the opening ceremony began. Tenth Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant Lawrence Chang, delivered his opening remarks, followed by a surprise visit from Command Master Chief Charlie Linville, NAS JRB Command Chief, who welcomed the group. Then, Col. Kevin Pottinger, 301st Fighter Wing commander, arrived in very high spirits. "Thank you for being here," said Colonel Pottinger. He continued by thanking the class for having the dedication to be there away from their family on what would normally be their weekend off. He explained how he chose to wear his BDUs to show that he is part of the team. "As far as leadership goes I keep it simple," said the colonel. "I approach leadership with the wing the same way I do with my children -- just lead by example. They should be proud of me and I should be proud of them." Upon the commander' s departure, four instructors took control of the course, dividing 43 students into two sections. The course objective was to heighten awareness of the supervision dynamics and leadership in the workplace, placing emphasis on management theories, leadership skills, time management, communications, counseling and appropriate means of handling stress. Several formats used to complete these objectives were both engaging and expressive throughout each module which allowed the students to gain the most out of their objectives. In the icebreaker session, each student chose a word that best described his or her work habits. Then, they put all fears aside and broke out into a trust session. They were blindfolded then told to fall backwards from a picnic table into their "trusting" teammates' arms. "It's a very active class," said facilitator Senior Master Sergeant Sandra Dye, a first sergeant from Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind. "I'm really happy with the quality of students here. They really seem to get [the objectives] and it's neat to see." As the weekend wrapped up, an airplane flying contest put teamwork and creativity on display. The students had really gotten to know one another on a new level through the previously involved exercises. Throughout the graduation ceremony many happy and accomplished faces accepted their certificates from Command Chief Chang and were then congratulated by the 301st Fighter Wing Command Chief Master Sergeant Jack Mills. "This course was a complete success," said Chief Mills, who was the SNCOLC host. "I had no idea what to expect because [this course] had never been hosted at the 301st before." The idea of hosting such an event came to Chief Master Sergeant James Singleton, 701st Medical Squadron, back in August. He then took the idea to Chief Chang, who facilitated the approval and supported the planning, which was left in the hands of Chief Singleton and Chief Mills. "I spoke to many students attending and they said, without exception, they're glad they came," said Chief Singleton. "[The course] gave them many new tools they could use in endeavors as leaders." Due in part to the course' s success, plans are already in the works for the 301st to host another class in November. This class is also available at other AFRC bases throughout the year. Please contact your first sergeant for more details on attending.