Yokota University celebrates successful year of professional development

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Spencer Tobler
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Yokota University held a year-end event to acknowledge its exceptional achievements at Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 1. 

Yokota University, established Jan. 31, 2023, is an organization charged with providing instruction on a wide variety of topics to further the development of leadership, supervisory and personal skills of the active duty military members, civilians, dependents and local nationals part of the Yokota community.

“It was a command team initiative to take all of the different professional development organizations on base and consolidate them into one entity,” said Master Sgt. Nathaniel Inwood, Yokota Professional Development Center development advisor. “We provide a variety of courses because we want to not only set people up in their military careers, but their personal lives as well.”

Yokota University has welcomed approximately 1,800 total force members to participate in 39 distinct courses over the span of one year. The organization has arranged several special events, including in-person lectures from two-time paralympian Joe Delagrave and author Simon Sinek. A virtual seminar with the fifth Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, Robert D. Gaylor, was also hosted by Yokota University.

“We host courses about emotional intelligence, toxic leadership, utilizing artificial intelligence and more,” said Inwood. “We want to create a menu of courses so people can find whatever they need to help them become a better version of themselves.” 

The organization incentivises member participation through its three-tier achievement level system. Attending 10 courses and one special event will secure Yokota University members the ‘Gokenin’ achievement level. Advancing to ‘Goshi’ requires completion of 15 courses and two special events. ‘Hatamoto’, the final achievement level, is earned after attending 20 courses and four special events. This level grants members direct recognition from wing leadership, an achievement certificate, and their name etched into the Yokota Professional Development Center wall of fame.  

The Yokota Professional Development Council aspires to enhance Yokota University’s offerings in the future.

“We are trying to get these courses accredited so people can walk away with legitimate credentials,” said Inwood. “This will especially help all of our Department of Defense civilians that have to take continuous development courses. We’re also looking to create more interactive opportunities for people. We want to take some of the classroom knowledge that’s taught and have students immediately apply it to reaffirm the lesson.”

Yokota University underscores the Yokota Professional Development Council’s goal to oversee and expand professional development opportunities for the benefit of active duty members, civilians, dependents and local nationals part of Team Yokota.

“Whenever somebody arrives here, our goal should be that they leave a better version of themselves,” said Col. Andrew Roddan, 374th Airlift Wing commander. “Thank you to everyone who had a piece in building or participating in Yokota University.”