Rethinking Professional Development: Maintaining dialogue

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike
  • Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Recently, I attended the first day of Pacific Air Force’s new professional development platform, Pacific Paladin. Pacific Paladin’s overall intent is to bridge the gap between each of the three levels: tactical, operational and strategic.

Whenever I attend professional development courses such as this in the Air Force, my goal is always to further my understanding of the larger strategic mission, develop my interpersonal skills, and better myself overall. Though, to be honest, I don’t think I leave professional develop with some type of tangible improvement nearly often enough. It rarely happens because the time between learning something in PDCs and when I’m able to use or reteach the information is ineffable. Pacific Paladin’s lead planners want to highlight what information the commander finds useful, where that information comes from, how it’s delivered, and so on down the chain.

When good, useful is provided I typically have to go back to work where I become inundated with primary tasks and additional duties. I become so saturated with work upon return from any time outside of the office that I can’t accurately reflect on what I’ve learned, and leverage the information.

This is where Pacific Paladin being held throughout the year changes the development game. The platform was crafted to be four days throughout the year to maintain dialogue on important mentorship topics – a step in the right direction when considering “continuous deliberate development.”

Now, I will be enabled to discuss topics from the previous class in a controlled environment with individuals who have the same general understanding I have. The ability to have these conversations and ideas multiple times helps to reinforce knowledge in way I can finally achieve a better sense of understanding to share with others.