New Professional Development Classes Underway
By SrA Lillian Harnden, 151 ARW/PA
/ Published February 04, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Air National Guard is currently hosting a new series of professional force development classes for all base members. The classes were started as a way to further development the skills needed to enhance the careers of today's Airmen and will be held quarterly on base.
The series was started by Senior Master Sgt. Burke Baker, 151st Air Refueling Wing Human Resource Advisor, in an effort to provide all ranks with the practical tools and knowledge needed to increase their mission effectiveness and further their careers and the careers of those Airmen they supervise.
"I recently attended the Utah National Guard Senior Enlisted Conference where we had some tremendous motivational speakers come and give some very inspirational briefings," said Baker. "One on the deficiencies that we noted during the course of the conference was the lack of ongoing professional development courses that will help increase the skills of our Air Guardsmen."
Currently, the Utah ANG has held two classes in the series. The first class was on effective bullet writing held in November, and the second class was on effective email and time management and utilizing the new Microsoft Office Communicator software.
"The goal with these courses is to increase mission effectiveness in our Airmen, both officer and enlisted," said Baker. "In today's high tempo operational environment, it is more critical than ever to do our jobs more efficiently and more effectively. "
The first class on effective bullet point writing was a huge success, according to Baker. More than 100 Airmen of all ranks turned out for the first briefing. Baker indicated that many more had contacted him and had requested another class soon.
"I felt like that was an important class to start with because teaching writing strong bullets and awards packages would help accurately capture the outstanding work that our Airmen are doing on a day-to-day basis," said Baker. "I personally would hate to go back and tell someone who is doing an exceptional job that they were not selected for recognition because of my failure as a supervisor to write a strong package for them. That is really why I wanted to start the series off with this particular class."
The importance of putting your people in for awards packages cannot be understated added Chief Master Sgt. Denise Rager, Command Chief for Utah ANG State Headquarters.
"Our Airmen are doing high quality work and deserve our best efforts as their supervisors to ensure that they are not only given the recognition they deserve, but that their award package is the most competitive it can be to reach the highest level of recognition it can," said Rager.
Chief Rager advocated that a strong continuing professional development program will yield a strong Non-Commissioned and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer corps.
"We need to take advantage of anytime we get the opportunity to grow our skills as professional Airmen," she said.
The next class in the series will focus on earning an associates degree with the Community College of the Air Force, and will be held on Sunday, June 3 at 8 a.m. in the base auditorium. Other topics to follow will be on mentoring, "Four Lenses" temperament awareness and effective communication.