SJAFB hosts first Airpower Leadership Academy

  • Published
  • 4th Fighter Wing

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base’s first Airpower Leadership Academy began on Jan. 12, 2022. The course is designed to enhance junior NCO’s leadership skills.

The academy is meant to give NCO’s an understanding of who they are and shape how they lead others.

“NCO’s will create their own personal leadership philosophy,” said Tech. Sgt. Cody Jurgensmeyer, 4th Maintenance Group loading standardization crew weapons academic instructor. “While we do discuss a few institutional competencies, we have also included other topics and avenues to provide an in-depth look at what it means to be a leader in the United States Air Force.”

Chief Master Sgt. Emilio Avila, Inter-American Air Forces Academy superintendent, developed ALA in 2014 while stationed at Osan Air Base, 37th Training Wing, Republic of Korea. After identifying the need for purposeful mentorship and development in junior NCO corps. Since then, the program has spread to 18 other bases. The course was also recognized by retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright at the 2017 Air Force Sergeants Association Professional Airmen’s Conference in Reno, Nevada.

“In August 2021, I pitched the idea for the course to Chief Master Sgt. West, 4th Fighter Wing command chief, with my desire to bring the course to the 4th Fighter Wing,” said Jurgensmeyer. “I was in the inaugural ALA class while deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing in 2019, and recognized the need for effective mentorship of our junior NCO’s.”

Once West approved, Jurgensmeyer set out to identify instructors, who together successfully developed the course.

Senior Master Sgt. Jordan Locklear, 4th Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent, Master Sgt. Douglas Brown, 4th Munitions Squadron armament maintenance section chief and Master Sgt. Emily Habel, 4th Maintenance Group infrastructure management flight, signed on immediately. They assisted with identifying SNCO’s from across the wing to form the cadre team and selected students to attend the inaugural course.

The 10-week course meets once a week for a two-hour session. The course includes an ice breaker, course introduction, a superintendent and first sergeant panel, cross cultural competencies, chief interviews, personal leadership philosophy and many more topics.

“Students and SNCO’s pair up to facilitate topics for discussion,” said Jurgensmeyer. “We have an open invite for our senior leaders to come out and sit in during our sessions.”
ALA is an example of not only seeking to provide Airmen with essential military training but growth in both personal and professional life.

“I had the privilege of starting this course in a deployed location,” Jurgensmeyer said. “Now I look forward to the amazing differences the ALA team will make here at Seymour.”