Enlisted PME builds knowledge, professionalism

  • Published
  • By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – Enlisted Professional Military Education courses use guided discussions to educate, develop and inspire enlisted leaders.  The courses are designed to let students share experiences, ideas and work together to achieve various educational objectives, according to the Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education.
Recent graduates from the three primary courses, Airman Leadership School (E-4, E-5), NCO Academy (E-6) and Senior NCO Academy (E-7, E-8), joined for an episode of AFLCMC’s Leadership Log podcast to share their PME experiences. 

Tech. Sgt. Tanner Biggs is a logistics specialist currently assigned to the Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate at Gunter Annex in Montgomery, Alabama.  He attended the NCO Academy in San Antonio, Texas in a virtual setting with 300 other NCOs. 
“So there is a little bit of that disconnect,” he said adding it was difficult to have those face-to-face encounters to form relationships.  “It made the speeches a little odd too during NCOA because you're just giving a speech to a computer screen and not to an audience.”
Master Sgt. Michael Barrows had a different experience as one of 200 students attending in person at the Senior NCO Academy on Gunter Annex.  
“It was very different in the fact that the instructors were more facilitators.  Each week, they would have a tough topic let's say you know, the first week was leadership.  We would go research, whatever the topic was and we come back and teach it to the entire class,” said Barrows, the First Sergeant at AFLCMC Detachment 6 at Lackland AFB, Texas.
“It was probably my best PME experience to date,” he said. 
Kathaleen Berhiet, a civilian administrative assistant for the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate here, attended Airman Leadership School in a hybrid setting with half of the course online and the rest in person. 
“Going in I thought, Okay, this will be a great chance to get a peek behind the curtain on how our fellow service members live,” she said.  “It was a lot more of understanding personalities, how to work with different personalities and how to kind of figure out what yours is.  We also went into negotiations and team building based on the way people think and operate.”   
To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at https://youtu.be/nJZvwcVVCjU.  You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.