Tyndall introduces first junior ALA class

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zachary Nordheim
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 325th Fighter Wing recently held their first Junior Airpower Leadership Academy course at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Jan. 9, to Mar. 12.

Jr. ALA is a mentorship program designed by Tyndall noncommissioned officers to mentor the junior enlisted tier on various topics. The 10-week course is broken into two-hour blocks once a week, where a predetermined topic is discussed and taught by two NCO volunteers.

“Junior Airpower Leadership Academy is a semi-formalized professional development and mentorship program that targets select Airmen,” said Tech. Sgt Micheal Page, 83rd Fighter Weapon Squadron resource advisor. “My team and I had the idea to develop this program after the recent success with the NCO Airpower Leadership Academy program brought to Tyndall. We want to provide value to Airmen that they might not be able to obtain within their respective career fields.”

Each week, students are introduced to topics such as goal setting, self-motivation, education, well-being, social media, leadership as well as diversity and inclusion. The Airmen are encouraged to engage in open forum discussion and share their personal experiences to help them gain a better understanding of different perspectives.

“Being able to broaden my outlook was something I gained during this class,” said Senior Airman Darien Salazar, 82nd Aerial Target Squadron mission systems operator. “Being able to make connections with people that are outside of your daily work environment and have them share their experiences was very valuable.”

All Jr. ALA attendees were from various units within Team Tyndall and were hand selected by leadership. Airmen and volunteers who are interested in this program can reach out to the Team Tyndall education office development advisor or their unit First Sergeant.

“Our goal with this program is to expand it Air Force-wide and provide a course for Airmen to grow and better themselves.” said Page. “We want to set the standard for what the future development of Airmen looks like as the ‘Installation of the Future.’ We’ve already branched out to [Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia], and we’re currently looking at other Air Combat Command bases.”

Through positive and open discussion, Jr. ALA aims to provide lower enlisted Airmen with a bridge to help prepare them for their future role as leaders.