Airman highlights leadership school options

His Air Force instructor singled him out as an excellent example for an interview, so Senior Airman Brody Scott Beaver stood in the hallway at the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center. A smile on his face showed no worry as classwork carried on in his absence.

Beaver has a lot on his schedule when you consider his time spent in college and serving in the Ohio Air National Guard. So he is returning home after a couple of weeks away in East Tennessee for Airman leadership school.

This Thursday, 42 students at the EPME Center on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base will finish the ALS Blended Learning Course. They learned leadership skills required of supervisors and reporting officials in a six-week home study/two-week campus attendance format that instructors believe gives drill-status Guardsmen a way to complete their EPME. They get full in-resident credit, so the same as taking the five-week in-residence course.

Airman Beaver is assigned to the 178th Wing in Springfield and attends Wright State University in Dayton. He has four years of part-time service and hopes to be a pilot.

“The goal is to fly for the Air Force and fly for my unit,” Beaver said.

Completing Airman leadership school is a requirement for his promotion to Staff Sergeant, and Beaver said that his studies “were not easy, but extremely beneficial.”

“The course not only trained me in leadership, but it inspired me to learn more about how I can be a better mentor,” Beaver said. “It taught me how vital communication, diversity, and situational awareness are.”

He had considered his ALS options and decided that he wanted the in-resident credit because of its higher regard, so correspondence was not his top choice, but the five-week school was also too much time away from his obligations.

“Blended learning was convenient for my schedule,” Beaver said.  He added that he also hosts a Monday radio show on WWSU 106.9, called the Beaver Dam Show.  “I tell you what: there’s never a dull moment,” he said.

The Air National Guard wants Airmen like Beaver to know the options that are available in EPME to achieve similar success.

“We want to help all Air National Guard Airmen understand the blended learning option is available to them, and show how we are leveraging technology to meet the unique needs of our drill status guardsmen,” said Chief Master Sgt. Winfield Hinkley Jr., the EPME center commandant.

The EPME center released a video about the blended learning course last month. The video can be watched online, at http://www.angtec.ang.af.mil/.

After the interview, Beaver returned to class. “Thanks for telling the story,” he said.

Later, he and his classmates will form up with hundreds of other Airmen taking the NCO Academy and a five-week ALS class for a combined graduation.

Photo: Senior Airman Brody Scott Beaver with the 178th Wing, Ohio Air National Guard, prepares to graduate from Airman Leadership School at the Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center in East Tennessee. Beaver and 42 classmates attended the Blended Learning Course version of ALS, which includes six weeks’ distance learning followed by two weeks in-resident coursework. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

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