by Senior Airman Omari Bernard
JBER Public Affairs
4/3/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaksa -- In
the Air Force, part of earning the rank of staff sergeant is attending
Airman Leadership School, which includes classroom instruction, uniform
inspections and practical knowledge on how to lead as a non-commissioned
officer. In the Army, before Soldiers become NCOs, they go back to the
basics by completing the Warrior Leadership Course.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Travis Hunt, 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron
joint terminal attack controller, recently became one of the few to
complete both courses.
As a JTAC, Hunt accomplishes his mission by embedding and deploying with
Army units to coordinate close air support and is no stranger to
working closely with
Hunt, from Peoria, Ariz., was selected to attend the Army course shortly
after his completion of ALS. His work and dedication during the
five-week long course resulted in him earning the Commandant Leadership
"Since I've been here, Hunt has excelled in everything he's done," said
Tech. Sgt. Michael McClary, 3rd ASOS air liaison officer. "No one second
guesses or hesitates when going to him. When something important needs
to get done, he gets it done."
WLC is a month long course that teaches specialists and corporals the
basic skills to lead small groups of Soldiers. This course is hard
hitting and intensive with an emphasis on leadership skills, preparing
Soldiers to advance to the rank of sergeant.
During WLC, Hunt had to study core course topics such as leadership,
training management, map reading, war fighting, drill and ceremony, and
land navigation. In fact, Hunt beat the course record set by a Soldier
for land navigation by 45 minutes. So far, Hunt is the only graduate to
have completed the course in less than four hours.
For the land navigation course, the students had to use a compass and
maps to find four designated points while carrying their field gear.
"With my job, we use maps all the time," Hunt said. "So I am proficient
with that and the land navigation course went pretty smooth. It reminds
me of basic training; you are there at 5 a.m. and do not get home until 6
or 7 p.m. They have formation every morning and they march you to each
of your meals."
Hunt said ALS's academic portion is more intensive, whereas the WLC
curriculum is designed more to instill leadership experience through
different leadership roles.
Hunt graduated WLC in March. During the course, Hunt had to overcome the fact he was the only Airman in a Soldier's course.
"At first, I felt like an outsider because I looked different," Hunt
said. "When they see the Air Force uniform, they already have
preconceptions of Airmen."
As the course went on, Soldiers reached out to him.
"One student I sat next to was able to help me a great deal," Hunt said.
"There was also another student that I deployed with. I made a few good
friends while I was out there."
Going through WLC helped Hunt understand what the Army has to go through and how to apply that to the Air Force, he said.