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USAF senior NCOs participate in USMC academy
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mark James, Erwin Professional Military Education Airman Leadership School commandant, climbs over a wall during a confidence course on Camp Hansen, Japan, Feb. 14, 2013. James is one of five U.S. Air Force senior NCOs who were chosen to participate in the U.S. Marine Corps Staff NCO Academy Advanced Course on Camp Hansen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Hailey R. Davis)
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USAF senior NCOs participate in USMC academy

Posted 2/20/2013   Updated 2/20/2013 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Hailey Davis
18th Wing Public Affairs

2/20/2013 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Thirty-three U.S. Airmen and Marines are attending a joint staff and senior NCO academy on Camp Hansen, Japan.

The Staff NCO Academy Advanced Course is an eight-week course where Air Force master sergeants and Marine Corps gunnery sergeants learn various styles of leadership and communication, and participate in physical training.

Class 2-13 graduates Feb. 27.

"The curriculum here is physical-training (intensive)," said Master Sgt. Mark James, a student at the Staff NCO Academy and Erwin Professional Military Education Airman Leadership School commandant. "It (also) covers most of what Air Force PME covers, such as communications, writing training documents, giving briefs and speeches, and evaluating commander philosophy and intent."

James also explained how challenges that Marine Corps and Air Force leadership faces as staff or senior NCOs are the same, as are communication and first-line supervision.
"We're not alone," James said. "Every unit faces challenges and requires first-line supervision to step up and that's one thing they've honed in on here is the importance of first-line supervision."

Communication plays a huge role when participating in a joint combat community, which is why this aspect of the course so important.

"No matter where we're at around the globe, we rely heavily on the Air Force," said Gunnery Sgt. Marcus Reese, Staff NCO Academy faculty advisor. "We bring (Airmen) in and see how they work so that when we go forward into the area of operations, we've already established that communication."

Not only does the course stress communication and supervision, it also incorporates physical training into the curriculum.
"We start off with physical training throughout the course, and build into the war-fighting package," Reese said. "They go out and conduct some combat task-oriented physical training such as the obstacle course. The log wall and rope climb tests their stamina and endurance."

Reese also said the students participate in a squad competition where they complete a medical evacuation stretcher run. Airmen and Marines carry a "casualty" and gear they would have in the field. During this run, they run 1.8 miles up a hill and back to the schoolhouse as part of a team-building exercise.

"You'd be amazed at how much you push yourself and push your body when you know your team is relying on you," James said.

3/29/2013 1:08:08 AM ET
I attended the 8 week grueling Career Course during the same time. I wanted to learn from the best leaders in the military and was able to take back a lot to my organization. The class was definitely different from NCOA and I enjoyed the challenge. I was the only Airman in the class with 72 being Marines. My peers nominated me the recipient of the Gung-Ho award Maybe I'll have the chance to go through the Senior NCO Academy.
TSgt Meek, Okinawa
3/28/2013 10:27:39 PM ET
I went to the CCRS course during the same time and it was a great experience.
TSgt Meek, Okinawa
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