Never stop developing

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Cheyenne Lewis
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force accelerates change in order to ensure Airmen have the attributes required to compete, deter, and win in a high-end fight. Recently, the Air Force updated the Airman’s Foundational Competencies as part of this approach to develop the force. The 24 total competencies are meant to assist Airmen, enlisted and officer alike, by helping supervisors implement a competency-based model to mold and develop future generations of leaders.

Tech. Sgt. Dylan King, 325th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School instructor, saw a disconnect with Airmen lacking information on the fundamental competencies the Air Force wants integrated into all Airmen. He noticed that while many senior leaders were aware of the changes, many junior Airmen were not.

King came to the conclusion additional professional development could be beneficial. King met with a fellow ALS instructor to determine how they could address this issue.

“When Sgt. King and I first started talking about additional professional development, the 24 Airman’s Foundational Competencies came up,” said Staff Sgt. Aaron Bell, 325th FSS ALS instructor. “He was kind of the mastermind that suggested breaking down each one of them and talking about each one individually.”

Together, they developed this idea into a reality, creating an opportunity for members in their unit to broaden their knowledge on Air Force topics.

About once a month, they now host a group discussion focused on one of the competencies and deep diving into the topic. For King and Bell, there is a priority to create a discussion instead of a briefing. Recent gatherings have been virtual due to COVID restrictions, but that has not stopped members from obtaining valuable knowledge.

“There’s always time to take a step back and learn something new,” said Staff Sgt. Ian Farmer, 325th FSS Manpower noncommissioned officer in charge of continuous improvement and innovation. “The more knowledge we can pick up, the more tools we have, the better we can do our job. I consistently go to these meetings now.”

Since starting the discussions in December 2021, three gatherings have taken place. Currently discussions are open to FSS members only, but the hope is to expand them to all members of Team Tyndall. Additionally, it is planned to introduce additional topics, such as Airmen Leadership Qualities, to the discussions to better prepare Airmen for leadership roles.

Developing Airmen, of all ranks, will help lay the foundation of the future of the Air Force.  Ensuring members know and understand how to be effective leaders will make that foundation stronger.  King, Bell and Team Tyndall are encouraging that development to ensure our future and current leaders remain resilient and lead the Air Force to success.