National Capital Region Joint Professional Development Seminar

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Matt Davis
  • Air Force District of Washington
Military professionals from each branch of the Department of Defense attended the National Capital Region Joint Professional Development Seminar at the National Defense University in Washington D.C., running from Nov 28-Dec 2.

The guest speakers provided attending NCOs and petty officers tools to help them operate in a joint environment. Staff Sgt. Sheri Keeley, 459th Aerospace Medical Squadron Medical Laboratory Services NCOIC, thinks training with other branches of service are vital to overall mission success.

“It is important because even though every branch has different core functions and specialties, we all work in unison to protect this great nation and its assets,” said Keeley.

Service leaders created Joint NCO/PO PDC to meet the needs of NCOs and POs across the DoD. Service members attended the course to develop skills to prepare them for challenges they may face filling joint mission requirements.

“Although commissioned officers are in charge of setting policy, NCOs and Petty Officers apply that policy and make crucial judgments on the ground. The amount of trust given to NCOs/POs is like no other; in fact, it is the key to success when determining the outcome of the situation on hand,” said Chief Master Sgt. Manny Pineiro, Air Force District of Washington First Sergeant. “If you learn to work together earlier in your career, you learn to respect each other's opinions and each other's individual branch of service. This five-day course is designed to engage Noncommissioned and Petty Officers in deliberate development to equip them to lead through the challenges of the 21st century.”

The course instructors did this by defining each member's role and responsibility. In addition, the senior enlisted leaders conducted mentoring sessions. The course also contained team building exercises to give first-hand experience for NCOs and POs to complete a joint task.

“Each of the service members are hand-selected based on their leadership's view and possible joint role in the future. Understanding your individual service history provides an opportunity to see that in the end, every service plays a vital role in the overall mission of the Armed Forces,” said Pineiro. “As all of our service members climb the structured rank ladder, it's about the networking that they do at the lowest level that will impact decisions that will be made later in their careers.”

The course provided the opportunity to enhance relationships between the students during a joint service panel featuring senior NCOs who shared their experiences and lessons learned. There were also briefings throughout the week covering topics like standards and discipline, resiliency and joint perspectives of each branch.

“I gained comfort through learning, understanding and appreciating the culture of other branches. We were made up of different ages, races, genders, branches and ranks, however it was clear that every person in that room had something in common,” said Keeley. “We all took the same oath to protect this country with our lives.”