Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Thursday, April 03, 2014

JBER Airman graduates Army NCO Academy’s Warrior Leader Course

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
Soldiers.

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 Award.

"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.

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