TALA; how to lead the Airmen of tomorrow

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tiffany Del Oso
  • 325 Fighter Wing Public Affairs

High quality leadership is important to the structure, function, and morale in the workplace. The U.S. Air Force is no exception to needing strong leaders to ensure total air dominance on the modern-day battlefield.

While the rank structure is essential to military operations, it can be difficult to transition from one rank to another when there is a lack of leadership experience. The Tyndall Airman Leadership Academy was stood up to provide upcoming noncommissioned officers an open communication forum to learn from senior NCO’s across the 325th Fighter Wing.

Tech. Sgt. Micheal Page, 83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron resource advisor, explained the ten-week course is aimed towards staff and technical sergeants across the installation. These NCOs work directly with the lower enlisted as they are often the first leadership encountered within a chain of command.

“With normal professional military education, the environment is usually very formal,” explained Tech. Sgt. Caleb Tarr, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal flight chief and course participant. “With this forum, the senior NCOs are all talking openly and allowing us to engage them as well as each other on different topics.”

Each block of instruction within the syllabus is taught by a different SNCO, providing an abundance of diverse perspectives for the course participants to analyze and discuss.

“Sometimes if you’re stuck in your own narrow mindset and the way your leadership values something, being exposed to the different values among other career fields is important because every career varies,” said Tech. Sgt. Rachel Gray 325th Force Support Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of base training. “Even just hearing where different people are coming from, and their point of view is interesting and good to consider going forward.”

Over ten weeks, students are presented various topics such as ego, work-life balance and diversity as well as the opportunity to converse with a Senior Enlisted Leader panel and a Chief Master Sgt. interview.

“That’s probably the most unique thing about TALA,” stated Tarr. “We just don’t get the opportunity to have open, candid conversations with senior leaders very often.”

Not everyone is born with the natural ability to lead which means strong leadership needs to be built from the ground up with a solid foundation. This foundation starts with the interactions that current leaders have with the Airmen who are the leaders of tomorrow.