NEWS | Jan. 29, 2019

Company-grade Officers Benefit from New Leadership Course

By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Raughton 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- When it comes to developing Airmen and providing feedback, Team Osan used a new ­tool Jan. 28-29 to train its company-grade officers: The Flight Commander Course.

The course seeks to lay a solid foundation of communication strategies and distill effective leadership habits in the Air Force’s future squadron and group commanders.

“When we get bogged down with our day-to-day mission, there’s always going to be taskers. Sometimes we don’t take time out to develop ourselves as well as others,” said Chief Master Sgt. Roy Hensley, superintendent with the 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron. “One of my big takeaways is not just being receptive, but also learning how to use effective, timely and honest feedback.”

Hensley said that the earlier Airman leadership and development are maximized in CGOs, the better prepared they will be when they’re in a commander position.

“You can help guide a vision from planting seeds too early, but if you wait too long it’s harder to change the way people have their foundation set,” he said.

The course isn’t only a standard classroom-style lecture. The officers also participate in guided discussions to explore concepts and hypothetical situations in depth.

“This is my second time as a flight commander, and I’ve never been to a flight commander development course, so my squadron commander thought it was a good idea that I attend,” said. Maj. Gary Webb, emergency room flight commander with the 51st Medical Group. “All of it leads into Airmen development. Our job is to guide Airmen to be successful in the mission, at the same time, learn how to take care of them, keep them safe and hold them accountable.”

Webb emphasized the need to value their troops’ personal well-being, as their Airmen’s lives outside of the mission can have a direct impact on their performance at work.

Upon completion, course leadership will solicit feedback from class participants and will continue to build a more robust curriculum to train officers for future leadership responsibilities.