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Professional development available through new book club

Posted 1/18/2012   Updated 1/18/2012 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Foster
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

1/18/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- What comes to mind when hearing the words "book club"?

If it's strategic context, military heritage or leadership, then Hanscom's Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF) reading list book club may be something to check out.

The new club encourages attendees to expand their knowledge in all three subjects and aims to develop relationships that foster growth.

Staff Sgt. Andre Olaciregui, Family Medicine Red Element NCOIC and club founder, heard about the idea at his previous assignment and ran with it at Hanscom.

"I think it's a great opportunity to allow enlisted members, officers, contractors, civilians and dependents to better understand the military life and professionally develop them no matter what stage of life they're in," he said.

According to www.af.mil, Gen. Ronald Fogleman created the CSAF Professional Reading Program in 1996 to develop a common frame of reference among Air Force members, officers, enlisted and civilians, to help each individual become better, more effective advocates of air and space power. Each CSAF since then has enhanced and continued the professional reading program.

Olaciregui agreed with leadership when they started discussing a need for something to fill the gap during the stretch of time between Airman Leadership School (ALS) and the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy when NCOs weren't being professionally developed. He hopes the reading club could be an option for NCOs, as well as anyone else interested, to keep up with their professional development.

"Anyone from a colonel, to an airman, to a high school student is welcome to attend," he said. "Even if you don't necessarily like the topics, if you like to read, then come on out. You may end up loving it because of the relationships. It's an opportunity to grow and network."

The club reads one book a month from the CSAF reading list and then meets to answer questions and discuss how different situations in the book pertain to strategic context, military heritage and leadership.

Olaciregui said he wants people to enjoy the hour and use it to grow both personally and professionally.

"I think a lot of times if you challenge people, they feel uncomfortable because they don't think they have the necessary tools," he said. "But maybe they can learn some tools and strategies in the book club to make them feel more comfortable in growing professionally."

Those individuals that prefer not to purchase books have the option to borrow a copy from the Hanscom library or from the 66th Air Base Group commander's office.

It's highly recommended to read as much of the current book as possible before coming to the meeting and there's no need to sign-up. January's book is 'Secrets of Special Ops Leadership: Dare the Impossible; Achieve the Extraordinary,' by William Alan Cohen.

The next meeting will be held Jan. 25 at 4:30 p.m. at the Minuteman Commons.

For further information about the CSAF reading list book club, contact Olaciregui at 781-225-6226 or email andre.olaciregui@hanscom.af.mil.

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