Preparing for the leap: Course develops future SNCOs

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Heather Fejerang
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The leap from NCO to SNCO is one of increased responsibility and servant leadership, rather than technical expertise. As Airmen progress through their careers, they are developed through milestone courses such as Airman Leadership School and NCO Academy. It could be years before they have the opportunity to take another course to refresh their perspective as a leader - that’s the purpose of the SNCO Professional Enhancement Seminar.

The SNCO Professional Enhancement Seminar is a week-long discussion-led training course at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., July 29 to August 2, 2019, prepared 56 master sergeant selects for their leap.

“We learn best from experiences and not necessarily only our own experiences,” said Senior Master Sgt. John Verrechio, career assistance advisor assigned to the 6th Force Support Squadron. “This course gives them an opportunity to get together with other like-minded individuals who are going through the same thing they are, but from a different perspective.”

Along with learning from each other’s experiences, the future SNCOs also learned from squadron commanders and NCOs what they personally expect. For Tech. Sgt. Stacey Pulido, it elaborates on the responsibilities and charge she’s taking on.

“I think somewhere between E-6 and E-7, you kind of need a reminder that it’s no longer about us and our personal accomplishments,” said Pulido. “It’s about reaching out to our Airmen and reminding them their purpose.”

SNCOs also had the opportunity to listen to junior enlisted member’s unique experience in the Air Force and hear what they expect from SNCOs.

“The Airman’s panel reminded me about the importance of being honest, transparent and trustworthy as a leader,” said Pulido. “You can get tunnel-vision in your job, meeting the day-to-day demands. You can forget you need to develop your Airmen in order to accomplish the mission.”

According to the Air Force Enlisted Force Structure, AFI 36-2618, being an active, visible leader who demonstrates, inspires and develops an understanding of the Air Force core values and The Airman’s Creed is the responsibility of the SNCO. That weight is made lighter for SNCO Professional Enhancement Seminar students who leave the course better prepared to mentor, develop and lead those under their charge.