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News > Yokota Route 56 courses improve Airmen leadership
Yokota Route 56 courses improve Airmen leadership

Posted 11/29/2012   Updated 11/29/2012 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Cody H. Ramirez
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

11/29/2012 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan. -- A variety of developmental courses aimed at improving NCO leadership skills and providing career-building resources for Airmen are offered quarterly by the Route 56 Organization at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

The courses assist NCOs in growth and development, while providing them with tools needed to be more effective leaders, according to Tech. Sgt. Trenekia Johnson, President of Route 56.

Route 56 is a private organization comprised of staff and technical sergeants built to promote the growth and development of NCOs on Yokota. As mid-tier supervisors, it is designed to be an effective bridge between the junior enlisted Airmen and the senior NCO tiers, according to Johnson. Basically, the organization focuses on molding NCOs from young Airmen, into effective NCOs, making them more effective senior NCOs in the end.

Johnson said leadership is a continuous learning experience that should be built upon every day. The courses offer an opportunity to build on these skills, while providing a perspective from senior NCOs who have been in similar situations and know what obstacles current NCOs may face.

"I would recommend Airmen to attend all of these courses in order to build on the foundation that is needed to do our primary job -- taking care of Airmen," she added.

Yokota has an essential mission in maintaining America's fighting force by providing combat-ready Airmen and supplies to the joint missions overseas. Upholding such a significant mission and standard requires the right leadership from the ground up.

"By providing these leadership tools, the NCOs are able to enhance their leadership and supervisory abilities, which will directly impact the success and growth of their Airmen," Johnson said. "If done correctly, this will allow their Airmen to emulate their leadership when they become NCOs, and the trend will continue."

Each quarter, Route 56 offers bullet writing workshops, a 360-Degree Leader seminar, and two to three courses of any of the following: retirement planning, decoration writing, feedback seminars, mentoring seminars, progressive discipline and enforcing standards, and promotions to senior master sergeant and chief master sergeant.

Johnson said the courses are tailored for NCOs, and the available seats for each class are reserved first for staff sergeants, technical sergeants, or senior airmen with promotion line numbers to staff sergeant. When seats are left unreserved, airmen, airmen first class and senior airmen are more than welcome to attend.

The developmental courses are taught by highly-recommended senior NCOs throughout Yokota, which paid off according to Tech. Sgt. Antonio Gueits, 374th Comptroller Squadron quality assurance manager.

"The major take away for me [from a developmental course] was that from any level of an organization, an individual can lead and affect change," Gueits said. "Thus, this course provided me insight on how I can change my organization, as well as how to motivate those at lower levels to take their place in the chain seriously and affect change themselves."

Gueits said he considers himself a lifelong learner who is always looking for a way to improve himself professionally and personally. He recommends the courses to anyone one who has a similar mindset, or anyone who simply wants to learn.

"The course (360 Degree Leader seminar) not only gives important advice to leaders at all levels, but also reveals great attributes of followers that will cultivate a positive flow of communication up and down the chain of command," Gueits added. "It is important to know that no matter what your position is in an organization, you have the ability to affect change based on your actions and your influence."

A 360 Degree Leader seminar takes place 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 7, at the professional development center here. There are 75 available seats for the course. Those individuals interested in attending, or any future courses, should contact Tech. Sgt. Donovan Bryan at 225-9171 to register.

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