JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – The Air Force’s Personnel Center wrapped up a successful year of hosting nearly 400 students in its 2019 Squadron Commander and Superintendent Course and is off-and-running with its first 2020 class concluded.
The three-and-a-half day course was offered eight times in 2019 and provided squadron commanders, civilian directors, and superintendents the opportunity to learn about capabilities AFPC provides to support Airmen worldwide. The first 2020 class was Feb. 3-6.
One of the most significant changes was adding squadron superintendents to the course beginning in May 2019.
“Incorporating superintendents in our course has proven invaluable to what we’re able to offer attendees about how AFPC provides talent management solutions for their military and civilian Airmen,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Hawkins, the course director. “Including superintendents with the commanders and civilian directors combined those valuable leadership perspectives and added greater depth of discussion to topics that impact enlisted, officer, and civilian Airmen. All 2020 courses will include representation from commanders, directors, and superintendents.”
“Anytime there is an opportunity to have discussions in a forum similar to the one presented by the course, there is high probability we gain much needed perspective. Whether limited in experience or knowledge, ignorance shouldn’t be viewed as a negative quality, but one that merely needed to be identified and requires attention,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jason Meinders, 25th Air Support Operations Squadron superintendent, Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii.
“The course provided ample opportunity for attendees to identify where they may be lacking from a leadership standpoint, as well as a forum for discussions and improvements to take place,” he added.
Through AFPC roadshows in 2019, the course gained traction with more commanders, directors and superintendents expressing interest in attending.
Due to the consistently high demand, eight classes are planned for calendar year 2020 and the course is targeted for commanders, directors and superintendents who have been in the seat for approximately 3-6 months.
“This course allows us to put squadron leaders directly in contact with the Air Force’s subject matter experts on a variety of personnel topics, and we’re able to provide a structured ‘peek behind the curtain’ at some of the transformations being discussed within the AFPC portfolio,” said Hawkins. “It also provides informed feedback from squadron leaders to the AFPC commander, which is shared with senior Air Force leaders.”
Course topics included many items across AFPC’s portfolio such as:
- military promotions;
- casualty and family support programs;
- the Air Force Wounded Warrior program;
- military evaluations and civilian appraisals;
- the integrated disability evaluation system; and
- civilian workforce planning and development.
Attendees also have the opportunity to meet with their respective enlisted and officer assignment teams, as well as civilian career field teams.
“You don’t know what you don’t know, so this [course] is a perfect introduction to prepare you for command,” said Lt. Col. Michelle Dimoff, 341st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron commander, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.
For Lt. Col. Tyrell Mayfield, who is now in his second command, the course still proved to be useful as the Air Force continues to transform.
“I really appreciated the Force Distribution Boards,” he said. “The practicums were fantastic and helped me bring good practices back to my own unit.”
Each major command nominates students for the course, which reflects various functional backgrounds, leadership experiences and unit missions.
“Now that we’re in our second year and having been a part of the course leadership team since we reinstated the course in 2019, what remains most impressive to me are the diverse perspectives and experiences that each commander, civilian director and superintendent brings to the course discussion and discourse,” said Hawkins. “We’re excited about keeping this course going into 2020 so we can help take care of our Airmen and their families serving around the world.”
“The course was very useful to me as a squadron commander. It provided an opportunity to network with commanders outside of my career field,” said Mayfield. “Go, take your chief with you – you and your unit will be better for it!”
The course is unit funded and those interested in attending should contact their MAJCOM A1 through their wing or equivalent unit leadership.