Last edited by Tak; 08-02-2013 at 09:41 PM.
Hmmmm.....I have mixed emotions about PME. It has to cater to the lowest common denominator. So the guy that has a 30 on his ASVAB is crying about the two page paper while the 90 on his ASVAB last wrote a two page paper in 6th grade. Grading scales for the speeches are very lax. As long as you dont absolutely shit the bed you pass which is way different than any college level speech where you have to hit all grading criteria which is why it does not count towards even a CCAF.
While I did "learn" some things, I did not find any of it worth a damn and do not apply it at work. A lot of the actual military stuff is glossed over in favor of psychological theories and writing papers. Typical "chair force" stuff. Nothing about unit tactics, or weapons employment, etc.
In today's fiscally constrained environment, I dont think spending upwards of $5K of tdy cash for 160 people every six weeks is good value for money. Especially when you dont really see a marked improvement in the middle management E-5 thru E-7 and the O-3ish O-4ish level. Either people have it or they dont. PME will not improve it.
I did enjoy going to PME for the chance to meet folks from different AFSCs. I think we all get into our little comfort zone. I had a lot more respect for our Security Folks after going to the Academy spending time (drinking with.) who explained the entire BS they had to put up with. I get to meet people from all over the Air Force. We even had an OSI agent in our class. Now where I almost got in trouble was at the NCO Academy taught at McGuire AFB, We were all TSgts except for two students who had line numbers for MSgt. One of our instructors was a female SSgt (very hot and sexy if I can be so blunt.) I was thinking WTF. She did not even have a line number. So here is a JR SSgt teaching at the Academy. Needless to say I never was politically correct and called her on it when she was in fantasy land (this was the time of TQM.)
PME is a necessary evil. In residence and correspondence courses are designed to give new/old supervisor more tools in the bag to work with. It is not designed to teach tactics or how to conduct air-strikes.
ALS/NCOA/SNCOA/Course 15: You get out of it what you put into it. For many they start class and would rather be back in their duty section and have a poor attitude. For some this quickly changes and then the learning takes place. There are flaws with any academic situation and adjustments have been made as our AF has matured. A good PME instructor will present the material and create an open environment so the students can learn from others in the class. The syllabus has to be covered...but the real education comes from the interaction of the different career fields in the room.
Suggestion for those who have not attended AF SNCOA: Take a look at your options. You will automatically get a seat in the AF SNCOA but you can also take action to attend the Army, Navy, or Coast Guard Sr Enlisted Academes. Here is a link that you can find info about all of them. http://www.uscg.mil/leadership/cours...orenlisted.asp
Everyone I met was either maintenance (only we can make fun of ourselves), security forces (it doesnt suck so bad once you are an NCO), ammo (IYAAYAS), knowledge ops (zzzzzz...), mps (zzzzzzz). Using the excuse of networking at the ssgt/tsgt level with people you will never see again is the biggest load of bullshit. Compared to my real job, it was a vacation. PME is the golden goose that cant be touched so while the curriculum might evolve, there will always be speeches to give and papers to write for six weeks at your location of choice.
What a majority of our class critiqued the SNCOA on was the fact that some of the sessions were the same exact lesson plans from the NCOA. How can thins be? Of course, this was in 2011 and we were told the curriculum was going to be changing soon. Our Chief also told us the AF is changing the entire PME dynamic within the next few years. Anyone have any insight into the new structure? Also, could you imagine if our SNCOA was as long as the Army's: 10 months?
Flash forward to 2007, 14 years later, and right after I came back from Afghanistan. I had already been a TSgt for 3 years, but delayed from my deployment. Felt TOTALLY out of place! Except for 2-3 others that were seasoned vets within 5 years of retirement, I was a grandpa in the class! What happened? Everybody was all of a sudden getting promoted early and half of the guys didn't carry themselves any better than a Senior Airman! Most of the guys in the class had been in 9-12 years! You didn't make TSgt that fast even in the early 2000's unless you were a fast burner! And the class was a joke! Our instructor was easy-going. We had our formative/summitive speeches and everything was so manufactured and staged!
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