MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Learning leadership skills can be a crucial aspect of growing in the military as they are one of the many key principles to how service members operate in their careers.
The Airman Leadership School is designed to be a great first step to enhancing an Airman’s knowledge of important leadership skills and military practices.
On Feb. 18, 2022, the 6th Force Support Squadron’s Chief Master Sgt. Aubert E. Dozier Airman Leadership School at MacDill Air Force Base was nominated as the Air Mobility Command's ALS of the year.
“The ALS team works hard to ensure that we are the best instructors, leaders and mentors for the Airmen coming through the schoolhouse,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Samantha Dougherty, the 6th FSS ALS commandant. “I couldn’t ask for a better team and to be named AMC’s Airman Leadership School of the year is an honor and truly humbling.”
ALS is the first level of professional military education enlisted Airmen experience. The ALS course provides entry-level leadership skills to prepare Airmen for positions of greater responsibility.
Dougherty explained ALS instructors are taught to understand the value of good leadership and their role is critical not only to MacDill’s mission but throughout the entire Air Force. She noted their main objectives as ALS instructors are to provide Airmen with skills needed to lead, follow and manage others.
“Today’s Air Force requires us to be a highly trained, educated and adaptable force,” said Dougherty. “We must develop enlisted leaders for tomorrow’s Air Force. They must be innovative, able to think critically, problem-solve and act decisively.”
With 193 students graduating MacDill's ALS in 2021, the instructors can make a difference in the careers of every Airman they teach.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Shawna Wise, 6th FSS ALS instructor, mentioned being hired as an instructor was life-changing.
“Being an instructor boom, teaching was already a passion of mine,” said Wise. “I have grown tremendously over the past three years and cannot imagine my life without the experience this job has brought me.”
For Airmen like Tech. Sgt. Jose Lopez-Rodriguez, a 6th FSS ALS instructor, graduating from the ALS course inspired him to become an instructor and share the knowledge he gained with future frontline supervisors.
“Being an ALS instructor is a dream come true, and it is an experience I enjoy every single day,” said Lopez-Rodriguez. “Whether I am working out with the students and motivating them to go past their comfort zone in fitness, or helping them figure out the answers to possible problems or situations they may face, this job is the most rewarding experience I have had in my career.”
Though the level of trust required to train the Air Force’s next generation of supervisors is high, MacDill’s ALS team remains dedicated to preparing their students as they progress through their military careers.
“The ALS team has a huge impact on our students whether they are Air Force, Space Force, joint members, or even civilians,” said Dougherty. “Not only are we providing the tools and resources to be successful leaders, but we empower them to be the supervisors they wish they had as Airmen. We also establish professional relationships with the students and show them that we truly care about every one of them. Our students know that we are always here to guide and mentor them.”
Regardless of the date or time, the 6th FSS’s ALS team is a force dedicated to helping Airmen to acquire and practice the skills it takes to become strong leaders.