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NEWS | July 12, 2022

U.S. Coast Guardsmen graduate from Airman Leadership School

By Airman 1st Class Olivia Bithell Joint Base Langley-Eustis Public Affairs

The Airman Leadership School is the first level of professional military education providing insight and knowledge to help prepare Senior Airmen for the roles and responsibilities required of noncommissioned officers. It strengthens their ability to lead, follow and manage junior enlisted Airmen.

According to U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Amy Wade, 633d Force Support Squadron, Langley ALS commandant, U.S. Coast Guard Command Master Chief Sean Edwards of Sector Virginia reached out, intrigued about what ALS had to offer.

After learning about the curriculum and touring the school, Edwards had six Coast Guardsmen vetted and selected for the course which consists of 24 mission-focused and leadership driven academic days.

In ALS students are expected to complete team projects, independent research and deliver their findings to instructors.     

“The Coast Guard wants to provide better leaders. What they’re looking for coming to Airman Leadership School, is that we can provide a couple of different tools or avenues that they haven’t thought of previously,” said Wade.

According to Wade, the six Coast Guardsmen stepped out of their comfort zone into a realm they were unfamiliar with, and absorbed everything they could learn from the Air Force and its members.

“They [ALS instructors] essentially take you through all aspects of leadership from trust-based relationships to communication through the aspects of the Air Force and how leadership relates to specific things,” said U.S. Coast Guardsman Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyshawn Anderson. “They lead you through scenarios with open discussion talks and provide everything needed to get students engaged and develop critical thinking skills about various situations.”

Through this course curriculum, participants are taught the foundations for problem-solving in their work environment while leading troops to accomplish their mission.

 “They hit the head on a lot of things and in a special way too because usually, you get talked at,” Anderson said. “They talk to you about things, but they have learned how to get students engaged in what’s being taught and then allow us time to apply what we just learned through simulated scenarios and situations.”

After learning a concept, students must complete performance tasks to assist in comprehension and retention of the subject. The students can see where their strengths and weaknesses are on the spot.

According to Wade, the Coast Guardsmen were able to look at leadership through the eyes of the Air Force, but the Airmen in the class were also able to expand their outlook on leadership by the added Coast Guard's perspective. 

“It was an honor to get to know the Coast Guardsmen as they not only taught the students in their flight rooms a lot, but they also taught our Cadre a lot,” said Wade. “It's also going to shape the way that we do business moving forward, which is great because we don't always want the class to be the same over and over again. We're thankful and blessed to have had that opportunity to work with and gain the insight of fellow service members.”