The Green Belt program inspires new innovations

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Iain Stanley
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force values innovation and leadership skills to support the force - the Green Belt Certification aims to teach service members these crucial concepts, allowing them to transform their own leadership styles for the better. This course strengthens the mind and prepares people for the tough task of innovating within a field and leading others.

The Green Belt program follows the Six Sigma ideology of problem solving and has two steps users must finish to complete their training. The first step requires students to complete a six-week in person or online course. The second requires the student to do a project relating to a problem they can solve using their new skills.

Air Force leaders have expressed the need for Airmen equipped to continue the legacy of innovative and creative application of airpower. The Green Belt Certification program is one way the Air Force harnesses innovative talent to support the force and develop leaders.

“We need problem solvers,” said John Matthews, 23rd Force Support Squadron manpower flight chief. “We need people who think on their feet, can identify, break down a problem and solve it. They need to be able to codify their results to prevent the issues from ever coming back.”

Tech. Sgt. Bailey Snipes, 23rd Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School instructor, is the first person in seven years to receive the Green Belt Certification at Moody. She has exemplified the leadership qualities and thirst for knowledge crucial to achieving an innovative mindset.

“Innovation isn’t a natural strength for me, so I have to be very intentional about developing that skill,” Snipes said. “I knew this certification would help me analyze processes and find ways to improve flow and efficiency.”

As part of her certification, Snipes developed a process that updated ALS instructor practices and enhanced the success rate of meeting mission objectives.

“The project I completed focused on in-service training (IST) at ALS,” Snipes said. “IST is where all instructors align on lesson plans and graded rubrics, ensuring consistency. My project aimed to streamline the process to ensure these trainings were completed on time, preventing any missed deadlines.”

Consistency and timeliness are examples of proactive problem solving at the core of the Green Belt program. The program equips students to identify discrepancies and improve processes before issues arise and negatively impact mission success.

Developing personnel is a deliberate priority supported and funded by the Air Force to retain and nurture the talent and specialized skills demanded by the emerging strategic landscape.

“The Air Force is offering this course for free because they want people to utilize it,” said Brandon Richardson, 23rd FSS Continuous Ideas, Innovation, Improvement program manager. “We want to do things faster, cheaper and smarter. By streamlining work processes and eliminating waste, it helps us achieve our goal.”

As the program continues to shape the next generation of leaders and innovators, its impact on the Air Force is seen through our continuous change that enhances readiness and adaptability in the face of evolving challenges.

“The Air Forces investment in this program is remarkable,” Snipes said. “I think everyone should take advantage of this opportunity, regardless of whether they plan to stay in the military or separate.

The Green Belt Certification program serves as a vital conduit for instilling innovation and leadership skills crucial for the U.S. Air Force's mission readiness. These skills are seen throughout the Air Force and specifically Team Moody in the form of Tech. Sgt. Bailey Snipes.