First tri-service class graduates ALS
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Feldt, 305th Operations Support Squadron electronics technician, shakes the hand of Master Sgt. Jad Aoun, Kish Airman Leadership School commandant, before receiving his graduation certificate Sept. 5 at Tommy B's Community Activities Center. Feldt earned the Academic Achievement Award, the first sailor to do so. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ryan Throneberry/Released)
Posted 9/7/2012 Updated 9/7/2012
by Airman 1st Class Ryan Throneberry
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs
9/7/2012 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- This is the second in a two-part series. The first was published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Air, Land & Sea Times.
The classmates of 12-F celebrated their graduation from the Kish Airman Leadership School Sept. 5 at Tommy B's Community Activities Center.
Wednesday's graduation was not a typical one, however. Twenty-nine senior airmen shared the stage with members of their sister services; two Sailors and a Coast Guardsman.
"While my mission as commandant will always be to train Airmen, having the other services involved is definitely a bonus for everyone," said Master Sgt. Jad Aoun, Kish ALS commandant from Pittsburgh, Pa. "I am proud of what the sister service members have been able to accomplish. I am definitely happy they could be a part of this and I'm sure the Airmen of this graduating class are better having worked with them."
Service members from these sister services enrolled in past courses, but never before have they taken part in the same iteration; something the commandant of the school wishes to develop.
Aoun said he will continue to reach out to other services so Kish ALS may one day see an iteration with all five military branches present. Meshing diverse service cultures would bring greater strength to the program.
"I feel as though I'm a more well-rounded service member because of this course," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class James Vasquez, Cape May Training Center facilities engineering technician and Los Angeles native. "Although most of the coursework I learned here was Air Force-centric, I think anyone can take these lessons and apply them to any branch of service and beyond. Being a good leader is not service-specific."
This course is mandatory for senior airmen with four years of service and a staff sergeant line number. The class is optional for the other military services.
"It's been a long, beneficial five weeks," said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Colvin, 87th Force Support Squadron administration assistant from Jeffersonville, Ind. "I can't wait to take what I learned from this class and apply it to my Navy career. I'm going back to my unit singing the praises of this course. I would tell future Sailor attendees it's going to be a lot of work but stick it out and you'll be better for it."
ALS covers combat leadership, military professionalism, Airmen supervision, verbal and written communication and group dynamics. A majority of the instruction focuses around various Air Force rules and regulations. Aoun said this brought an extra degree of difficulty for the Sailors and Coastie.
"The key is being able to apply the ALS coursework back into your service branch, which can be difficult," said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Feldt, 305th Operations Support Squadron electronics technician who hales from Detroit. "Every time our instructor mentioned something Air Force specific, like writing a bullet for an enlisted performance report, I put it through a Navy filter in my mind to ensure I got the most out of what we were learning."
The graduation ceremony commenced with a few words from the commandant.
"I like seeing that spark in eyes of NCOs after ALS, you can see they've grown in their career," said Aoun. "When they come in here, they look like Airmen, or Sailors in this case. They leave with a renewed sense of duty and espirit de corps and are ready to be NCOs. They are rededicated to this service profession."
The ceremony concluded after each graduate received his or her certificate; a smile on every face.
"I definitely accomplished what I set out to do five weeks ago," said Vasquez. "My shipmate told me to give one hundred and ten percent and that's exactly what I did."
Sister service members interested in attending this course should contact his or her superintendant for more information and possible enrollment.
The ALS curriculum is currently going through an Air Force-wide course restructuring. Look for more information in the coming months in the Air, Land & Sea Times.
Congratulations to Class 12-F of the Kish Airman Leadership School. All graduates are senior airmen unless otherwise noted.
20th Air Refueling Squadron
32nd Air Refueling Squadron
87th Civil Engineer Squadron
87th Communications Squadron
87th Comptroller Squadron
87th Dental Squadron
87th Force Support Squadron
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Colvin
87th Logistics Readiness Squadron
87th Medical Support Squadron
87th Security Forces Squadron
305th Aerial Port Squadron
305th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
305th Maintenance Squadron
305th Operations Support Squadron
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Feldt
605th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
818th Global Mobility Readiness Squadron
Cape May Training Center
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class James Vasquez
John L. Levitow Award: Dusty West
Distinguished Graduates: Barrett Harley, Matthew Feldt
Commandant Award: Patrick O'Bryan
Academic Achievement Award: Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Feldt