Senior leaders will mentor flight commanders during new program

The history and future of the Air Force come together June 25-27 when Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s inaugural Flight Commander Leadership Course takes place at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The Flight Commander Leadership Course was developed as part of the Air Force chief of staff’s initiative to revitalize squadrons and strengthen squadron leadership and culture.

The course is designed to educate new military and civilian flight commanders and flight commander-equivalents about the resources and information needed to perform their leadership roles.

Explore New Wright-Patt club ‘speaks up’ for leadership, communication skills

Forty-six military and civilian flight commanders from across Wright-Patterson AFB will take part in the course.

“Commanding a flight is the first level of command and an excellent opportunity for wing, group and squadron commanders to impart their knowledge and actually target those individuals that they see who will rise among the ranks,” said Willie Reese, chief, Training Delivery, 88th Force Support Squadron.

The flight commanders will be instructed by senior leaders from across the 88th Air Base Wing, along with subject-matter experts from around the base on various topics. The SMEs will seek to impart those skills and knowledge needed for the first-level supervisors to prepare them for not only their current role as a flight commander but also for future leadership roles.

In the process, flight commanders will gain a better understanding of the senior leaders’ perspectives, and how they and their peers can help fulfill that strategic vision in their respective flights. Topics of discussion will include: the role of the flight commander, preparing for command, emotional intelligence, ethical leadership, leading change, developing others, building coalitions, total force integration, diversity and inclusion, conflict management, appraisals and performance reports, feedback, discipline and mentoring.

Wing commanders were tasked with establishing this course at their respective bases, focusing on those skills needed to succeed in this initial central level of leadership. Air University created a set of tools for use in this course, with the intent for wing commanders to tailor the course to fit their mission-specific needs.

“One of the unique things about the course is we’ve partnered with the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. We’ve asked our presenters – the subject matter experts, to think about an exhibit and think about a gallery that may intertwine with the leadership topic that they’re discussing with the class. So we’re able to interweave that history with what is today’s Air Force. The goal is not only to weave that through the class but get the class out of the room and use that lab of learning,” said Reese.

Whether that lesson is taught in the classroom and then reinforced in the gallery – or taught in the gallery – is left to the discretion of each guest instructor.

The course is anticipated to run twice a year, with the next one slated for this fall.

About the Author