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Graduating ALS students prepared to lead

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Twelve Airmen and Coast Guardsmen graduated Nov. 8 from Airman Leadership School following a ceremony at the Minuteman Commons here.

The course prepares junior personnel to provide feedback to subordinates, write annual enlisted performance reports, prepare letters of counseling when appropriate and more while leading teams.

“Airman Leadership School incorporates in-class exercises and performance tasks in those areas to prepare the students to be professional, warfighting service members who can lead work teams to support the employment of their respective mission,” said Master Sgt. Ryan Dillingham, the commandant for ALS.

Throughout the course, students also learn to effectively communicate their overall contribution to the mission, collaborate and connect with members of their team, apply strategies to solve problems and exhibit core values.

Airman Leadership School is a six-week in-residence course required for Airmen. Attendees receive the U.S. Air Force NCO professional military education graduation ribbon upon completion of the class.

During the ceremony, school officials announced the names of three students who received awards.

The school’s top award, the John L. Levitow Award, went to Senior Airman Michelle Princi, 102nd Operations Support Squadron, Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. This 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 professional military education student.

The Academic Achievement Award went to Staff Sgt. Rory Powers, from the Digital Directorate at Hanscom. This award goes to the student who achieves the highest summative scores throughout the class and who displays characteristics of an effective leader. The recipient also must have fostered teamwork within the training environment.

Senior Airman Richard Strohecker, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Detachment 12, captured the Commandant Award. This award goes to the student who displays all the characteristics of a leader. Once all other factors are considered, the ALS commandant renders the final judgment on who receives this award.

Senior Airman Colby Morin, 66th Security Forces Squadron received the Dress and Appearance Award.

Other students who completed the course include:

Senior Airman Daniel Ajoue, 102nd Security Forces Squadron at Otis Air National Guard Base

Senior Airman Samantha Espinoza, Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Integration Directorate

Senior Airman Casey Gilbert, 439th Aeromedical Training Squadron at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

Senior Airman Ramus Gillespie, 66th Air Base Group Inspector General Office

Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Paquette, United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Coram

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jefferson Parker, United States Coast Guard Air Station at Cape Cod Station, Mass.

Senior Airman Quentin Rice, 66th Force Support Squadron

Senior Airman Keith Sharp, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorate