Officers develop, hone skills during First Term Officer’s Course

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Taking a new twist on the First Term Airman’s Course, twenty-four company grade officers from across Team McConnell participated in a First Term Officer’s Course developed to assist officers in transitioning to their first base and polish leadership skills as they start their careers aiding others.

 This course is the first of its kind at McConnell. The core of the class included the importance of leadership, how to leverage resources, career progression and opportunities to step outside of one’s career field.

 “There has never been a more critical time to talk about an officer’s role in leading people than right now, as the Air Force continues to adapt to new challenges,” said Capt. Carmella Burruss, 22nd Operations Support Squadron deputy chief of wing intelligence and course facilitator. “Regardless of your job, we all have something in common—the fact that officers are here to lead people.”

 That common ground is why Burruss said she focused the course on leadership and promoting an open forum of information.

 “Other bases have their own First Term Officer’s Course, but we wanted to take our course in a different direction,” Burruss said. “We wanted to focus on three pillars on what it means to lead people. [Our course] focused on the individual and leadership philosophy, knowing the people you lead and gaining insight on the junior Airman’s perspective.”

 During lessons, participants were encouraged to ask questions or offer their insight about topics being discussed.

 “We were able to ask as many questions as we could come up with,” said 2nd Lt. Michael Caulfield, 22nd OSS Intelligence operations officer. “I’m new and still not very familiar with the base and the mission set of various units here, so I appreciated getting feedback from folks who were best suited to give it.”

 Burruss said she hopes to contribute to developing successful leaders at McConnell before she joins the Air National Guard.

 “It’s very humbling to stand in front of the next generation of officers as a last hurrah for me as I begin my transition from active duty,” Burruss said. “Seeing what everyone here brings to the table makes me happy knowing the future of the Air Force is in great hands.”