HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Surrounded by friends, family and colleagues, junior enlisted personnel attending Airmen Leadership School here completed the first step in their professional military education following a graduation ceremony at the Minuteman Commons Sept. 29.
By completing the five-week course, the 12 graduates are now qualified to supervise junior enlisted members in their respective organizations, according to school officials.
ALS class 17-F is comprised of six active duty Airmen, two Airmen from the Air National Guard and members from the Air Force Reserve and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The guest speaker for the ceremony was Senior Master Sgt. Jacob Macedo, superintendent of the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System Operational Capabilities Branch.
Macedo, who graduated from ALS in 2006 while he was assigned to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, spoke about setting clear expectations for their subordinates.
“Challenge your subordinates to be better than they were yesterday,” he said. “Be the example.”
He closed by telling the future supervisors that they will have success and failures. He encouraged them to learn from those failures.
“As supervisors and leaders, it’s now your responsibility to not just learn from those failures, but to pass those lessons down to your subordinates so they can be better than you were,” he said. “Use those lessons to advise your leadership to the best of your ability so they can make informed decisions. But most importantly, you must never let the fear of failure prevent you from being the leader each of you told me you wanted to be.”
Following his speech, instructors recognized top performing students from the class.
Senior Airman Christopher A. Whiteside, a member of the 64th Air Refueling Squadron at Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire, won the John L. Levitow Award. The award goes to the student who achieves the highest overall standing from a combination of academic scores, performance evaluation and leadership qualities. It's the highest honor awarded to an enlisted PME student.
The Academic Achievement Award recipient was Senior Airman Siobhan E. Lynch, from the 66th Medical Squadron. This award goes to the top student who achieves the highest summative scores throughout the class and who displays all characteristics of an effective leader. They also must have fostered teamwork within the training environment.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik J. Locklear, assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Sector Boston, is the Commandant Award recipient. This award goes to the student who displays all the characteristics of an effective leader. Once all other factors are considered, the ALS commandant renders the final judgment on who receives this award.
Locklear also received the Dress and Appearance Award during the ceremony.
Other students that completed the course include:
Senior Airman Kirstie M. Couillard, 66th Comptroller Squadron, Hanscom Air Force Base
Staff Sgt. Laura M. Crawford, 66th Security Forces Squadron, Hanscom Air Force Base
Senior Airman Garrett J. Guidinger, Joint Personal Property Shipping Office Northeast, Hanscom Air Force Base
Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicholas A. Konopka, U.S. Coast Guard Station Boston
Senior Airman Joy K. Piggott, 66th Air Base Group, Hanscom Air Force Base
Senior Airman Mark A. Simmons, 459th Maintenance Group, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
Senior Airman Mark A. Simpson, 25th Aerial Port Squadron, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
Senior Airman Michael R. Stepp, 76th Aerial Port Squadron, Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio
Senior Airman Noelle M. Valentine, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base
Each graduate earned the U.S. Air Force NCO PME graduation ribbon.