Joint junior officers learn leadership during Summit

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Matt Davis
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
Company grade officers received a unique opportunity to train together during the National Capital region Joint-Service Junior Officer Leadership Summit held at the General Jacob E. Smart Conference Center this week. The course is designed to develop joint service junior officers by exchanging ideas with their peers and through mentoring by senior military leadership.

The recently established Junior Officer Development Action Group created the course to increase connectivity between NCR officers and to bridge the gap of cross service development.

"Being familiar with a joint setting shouldn't happen only when we deploy or assigned to a particular task. It's probably most beneficial to have that experience in more things that we do as leaders" said, Capt. Amanda Ferguson, event coordinator, also assigned to the 579th Medical Support Squadron. "It also introduces diversity in different backgrounds, different skill sets, different cultures and different work environments that really sharpen junior officers to execute the mission."

More than 200 attendees participated in multiple breakout sessions throughout the 3-day course that included topics on career guidance and leadership philosophy and diversity within a joint force.

"I think seeing other sides of operational portions of the Air Force and other services is going to make me a better leader." 1st Lt. C.J. Rosemond Scott, 167th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. "It will also help me adapt to change a little bit better, especially since we tend to work in a joint type situation more often than not."

Mass briefings were also held that gave perspective on enlisted and officer senior leadership positions.

Officers in new leadership roles quickly realize that it's not about them, it's about leading the team and finding common goals, said Air Force District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Darryl Burke, who spoke at the event.

"Surround yourself with good people," said Burke. "When you are thrown into a situation, your experience kicks in, and you learn to count on your people. You take care of them, and they'll take care of you."

Confidence in your service's leadership is essential as junior officers grow in their careers, Burke added.

"Trust your Service leadership. They will pick you for the right job - the job you can handle. Keep your confidence. Time will fly by fast, and you will find yourself in a leadership role before you know it."