by Senior Airman Charles Rivezzo
60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
8/18/2014 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Since
the establishment of Leadership Pathways in 2012, only two Airmen have
ever reached the program's top-tier. Until recently, when Senior Airman
Akeem Washington, 573rd Global Support Squadron, became just the third
Airman in Air Mobility Command to stake his claim at attaining 'Warrior'
The Leadership Pathways program is designed to encourage the Total
Force, Department of Defense civilians and family members to participate
in wing programs and activities that strengthen individual, family and
unit resilience using the four domains of Comprehensive Airman Fitness -
mental, physical, social and spiritual.
Each course taken in the program allots a certain amount of credits to
the individual. Wingman level is achieved at 10 credits, Leader level at
20 and Warrior level at 30.
For Washington, entry into the program was an after-thought as he had
unknowingly taken multiple fitness and nutrition classes that fell
within the Leadership Pathways spectrum.
"I'm big into fitness so I naturally gravitated toward those classes
without even knowing they were tied into Leadership Pathways," he said.
"I'm always searching for knowledge and wanting to take advantage of
what the Air Force has to offer. Leadership Pathways gave me that
The Los Angeles native went on to take an array of classes ranging from
fitness and nutrition to anger management to the seven habits of highly
effective people - a class for which Washington advocates.
"I think every Airman should take this class before they become a
noncommissioned officer," he said. "It helps you as a person, but it
correlates perfectly with your Air Force life and the Air Force core
values. All of it correlates into being an effective supervisor and
For the prior C-5 Galaxy maintainer, it wasn't just tangible knowledge
and skill-sets that had the greatest impact on him; it was the
unforeseen networking he encountered with others around the base that
stood out most.
"I work in the armory, so I don't get the chance to meet people from
half my squadron, let alone the rest of Travis Air Force Base,"
Washington said. "Every time you go to one of these classes you get to
meet different people. You get the chance to network with people and
hear about their careers fields and what they do and what their impact
on the mission. It gave me an opportunity to see the bigger Air Force
Washington added that in today's fiscally constrained environment, now
is the time to take advantage of these programs while they are still
"It just comes down to the fact that if it's not being utilized and
participated in, it is going to get cut," he said. "As long as your
supervision allows it, you have got to take advantage of this program.
"Everyone goes through TAPS before they separate from the military and
take a lot of these classes, but why wait until the end of your career
to gain these skills when you could have used them throughout your