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442d Fighter Wing launches 3-day Officer Development Course

A group of US Air Force captains and majors listen to a presentation during the 3-day Officer Development Course.

A group of US Air Force captains and majors listen to a presentation during the 3-day Officer Development Course hosted by the 442d Fighter Wing Feb. 8, 2021, at Whiteman Air force Base, Mo. The course was developed to help leaders improve key skills needed to focus on the mission while simultaneously strengthening the leadership and culture within the wing. (US Air Force photo by Maj. Shelley Ecklebe)

A group of US Air Force captains and majors listen to a presentation during the 3-day Officer Development Course.

A group of US Air Force captains and majors listen to a presentation during the 3-day Officer Development Course hosted by the 442d Fighter Wing Feb. 8, 2021, at Whiteman Air force Base, Mo. The course was developed to help leaders improve key skills needed to focus on the mission while simultaneously strengthening the leadership and culture within the wing. (US Air Force photo by Maj. Shelley Ecklebe)

The 442d Fighter Wing Commander, speaks to a group of captains and majors.

US Air Force Col. Mike Schultz, the 442d Fighter Wing Commander, speaks to a group of captains and majors at the Officer Development Course Feb. 8, 2021, on Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. "We owe our officer corps better training and a deliberate continuum of education to strengthen our capabilities and build a foundation of adaptive and resilient officers who can lead in complex operating environments," Schultz said. (US Air Force photo by Maj. Shelley Ecklebe)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --

The 442d Fighter Wing hosted a 3-day Officer Development Course for the first time, Feb. 7 – Feb 9, 2021, here.

The 3-day course curriculum was designed based on feedback from officers within the wing and Air University’s The Flight Commander’s Edge program, which provided a variety of tools to develop and deploy flight- and squadron-level leadership topics.

The course was developed to help leaders improve key skills needed to focus on the mission while simultaneously strengthening the leadership and culture within the wing.    

Subject-matter experts were selected for each topic and asked to create a lesson plan and use their own experiences to make the class both educational and enjoyable.  “Studies show that highly-successful squadrons clearly define, understand, and communicate their ‘why,’ or purpose” said Lt. Col. Gregory Stack, the course director. “We asked our instructors to take their subject, create a lesson plan, and then ask ‘why?’ until the purpose behind every task is aligned to mission success.”

Six captains and four majors attended this month’s course and with future plans to include officers from the wing’s geographically separated unit, the 476th Fighter Group at Moody AFB, Ga. The curriculum addressed a variety of topics, including preparing for command, developing full-range leadership, leading change, readiness reporting/metrics, the enlisted force, civilian personnel management, and others.

“In the Reserve, officers may wait years to attend various developmental educational opportunities and oftentimes, our officers are expected to lead flights prior to attending those courses,” said Col. Mike Schultz, 442FW Commander. “We do a really good job of focusing on the mission. We owe our officer corps better training and a deliberate continuum of education to strengthen our capabilities and build a foundation of adaptive and resilient officers who can lead in complex operating environments.”

There will be learning curves and changes to the course along the way, but Schultz believes this course will help us with our ultimate goal: taking care of the Airmen within the 442 FW.