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NCO PES enhances Moody NCOs

Photo of NCOs during chief's panel

NCO Professional Enhancement Seminar attendees sit during a chiefs’ panel Feb. 6, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The NCO PES is geared towards staff sergeants who have been out of ALS for three or more years. The 23d Force Support Squadron hosts the NCO PES each quarter to bridge the gap between Airman Leadership School and NCO academy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine M. Barnes)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

After an Airman has completed Air Force Airman Leadership School, it could be years before they are eligible to attend the NCO academy. The NCO Professional Enhancement seminar provides continuing professional military education to bridge the gap.

The 23d Force Support Squadron hosts the NCO Professional Enhancement Seminar each quarter to give NCOs an opportunity to reinforce supervisory skills, gain expectations from Moody senior leaders and obtain current resource information to take back to their Airmen.

“The intent [of the NCO PES] is to bridge the gap between ALS and the NCO academy,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Smith, 23d FSS career assistance advisor. “After the completion of the course, NCOs are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to be more effective frontline supervisors.”

The four-day course is taught by Moody leadership and subject matter experts.  The intent is to educate NCOs on their roles and responsibilities, as well as provide resources offered to help our Airmen. Support agencies like the Airman and Family Readiness Center, mental health clinic, education center and Manpower provide resources to support Moody Airmen.

“We try to ensure that our frontline supervisors know how to help their Airmen,” said Smith. “A lot of [the NCO PES] information is for the NCOs, but [there] is also information to take back to their Airmen, so they can be more effective in assisting them throughout their careers. We have the first sergeants’, chiefs’, and commanders’ panels, where [the NCOs] can get firsthand knowledge of [leaders’] roles and responsibilities and the expectations from them. We talk about effective communication, enlisted force structure and career progression, so [the NCOs] understand their responsibilities at each rank in the enlisted corps.”

The NCO PES is geared towards staff sergeants who have been out of ALS for three or more years. However staff sergeants, technical sergeants, and prior service individuals who have not gone through ALS are still eligible to enroll. This seminar gives prior service NCOs an opportunity to learn the expectations and standards specific to the Air Force in an effort to lead Airmen with the best of their ability.

“I feel like [the NCO PES] is going to help out a lot in mentoring Airmen,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Pirtle, 723d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “When I went through ALS, it was about six years ago, so there could be many Air Force program changes that I may be unaware of. [The course] definitely benefits the overall mission [because it provides an opportunity for NCOs] to stay current on the issues, guidelines, rules and regulations. That is going to help me better mentor my Airmen because if I don’t know the rules, how can I uphold the standards for my Airmen?”

The NCO PES is designed to increase critical supervisory skills and update NCOs on helpful resources.

“The [NCOs] are signed off in an Air Force system to show that they have attended [the NCO PES], so they don’t have to attend multiple times unless they feel it would add value to their current supervisory or leadership role,” said Smith. “Ensuring our Airmen are constantly receiving professional development is key to mission success.  One of the Air Force priorities is developing exceptional leaders to lead the world’s most powerful teams. By providing professional development seminars, like NCO PES, we ensure we are at the forefront of creating courageous leaders”.

Aside from gathering information to assist and mentor Airmen, the NCO PES is an opportunity for NCOs to ask leadership any questions and get a clearer understanding of how to be a better NCO from leadership’s viewpoint.

“I think this is a chance to take a break from the day-to-day [operations] and get back to what our roots as NCOs are,” said Pirtle. “You don’t get a chance to talk to the chiefs on a [daily] basis. This was a great opportunity to [ask] any questions as an NCO [and] get an outside perspective.”