CES course builds a better Airman

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Washburn
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Not every Airman remembers the important aspects of the dress and appearance Air Force Instruction. Not every airman first class knows how to write bullets for an Enlisted Performance Report, or what to expect when facing a board of their peers for an award.

For Airmen of the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron, the Airman Professional Enhancement Course addresses these topics and sets Airmen up for future success.

"I've seen courses like this offered at other bases, and I thought it could be beneficial to try and start it here," said Master Sgt. Jason Stacy, 374 CES first sergeant. "I brought it up to leadership and they approved it. Other Airmen from CES and I formed a committee and decided what would be covered in the course."

A plethora of topics including personal finance, stress management, professional relationships, core values, bullet writing and many others made it into the three and a half-day class.

"The first class that we held was in November of 2012, and was tailored toward senior airmen who were getting ready to go to Airman Leadership School," Stacy said. "The second class, which was recently held in March, was more for Airmen new to the squadron."

Each of the two classes was geared toward different ranks and therefore, topics were vastly different. For example, because the second class was designed for the ranks of airman 1st class and below, a mock Below-the-Zone and award board was one of the sections covered.

"The idea was to try and bridge the gap between First Term Airmen Center and Airmen Leadership School for some of our younger enlisted Airmen," said Master Sgt. Richard Jameson, 374 CES Heavy Repair superintendant and a course briefer. "With the course, we were able to get a little more in depth with the topics that we covered. The feedback I received was very positive. The Airmen said that they really enjoyed the course."

At the end of each course feedback was given as to what Airmen enjoyed or what needed to be changed for the next course. If there is a topic that Airmen don't find helpful, the committee can replace it with something else.

"I think the APEC provides an opportunity to tell these young Airmen of what is required of their supervisors and how to lead when they themselves become supervisors," Stacy said. "A lot of the information is valuable and will help prepare Airmen for ALS and for when they put on staff sergeant. We're trying to set them up for success."

Stacy said the goal is to have every Airman from CES attend a course by the end of the year. Even after reaching that goal, the course will continue on. There will always be new Airmen entering the squadron and having them take the course will start them out on the right foot.

"The classes were useful because they're a reminder of information Airmen may not remember, like the Air Force Instruction on dress and appearance," said Senior Airman Victoria Rodriguez, 374 CES operations management journeyman and APEC attendee. "Other topics like customs and courtesies are helpful because not everyone is going to remember Japanese customs and courtesies. For me, the class was helpful and it allowed me to meet other Airmen in my squadron."