AFDW hosts Joint Professional Development Course

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Esther Willett
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
The Air Force District of Washington hosted a five-day Joint Noncommissioned and Petty Officer Professional Development Course for 40 Noncommissioned and Petty Officers from all four services and the Coast Guard at the National Defense University Nov. 2 - Nov. 6.

Throughout the week, the participants heard from senior enlisted leaders from all branches of service, engaged in team-building activities, paid a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, and discussed current issues in small breakout groups.

"These NCOs and Petty Officers are the leaders of the future, and their development is critical," AFDW First Sergeant Chief Master Sgt. Manuel Pineiro said. "It is imperative that they are equipped to face and overcome challenges, not only in their own services, but also in joint environments."

The goal of the course is to provide deliberate and organized professional development, tailored to meet the participants' needs and to develop each participant as a leader, said Pineiro.

"This level of leader is actually getting the mission accomplished, and they have to work together, especially in a deployed environment. It is important that they learn in garrison how to work together and respect each other's' opinions while still loving their branch of service," said MSgt Maisha Granda, who helped facilitate the course.

Course participants said that conversations with senior leaders and their joint counterparts were enlightening and will prove valuable as their careers progress.

"Knowing how all the different branches work will help my career a lot when I get deployed or get a joint assignment, or when I have an Airmen that asks about the different branches and how they work," said Staff Sgt. Jessica Tunnell.

Outside the classroom, participants networked and conducted field competitions that fostered camaraderie, allowing for time to explore the nuances of each service.

It is so important for the different services to understand each other so that they can work together in joint environments, said Marine Sgt. Tyler Sullivan.

"NCOs and POs are the backbone of the Armed Forces," said Pineiro. "The most important investment we can make is their continued education, training, and development."