Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Falcon Flight takes Eagle Flight, ALS increases AF knowledge

by Thea Skinner

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

The final Jeopardy question is: How many years did Chuck Norris serve in the Air Force? The question was successfully answered by Falcon Flight during the new Airman Leadership School Jeopardy learning tool. The flight is one of two teams for a total of 24 Airmen that graduated ALS on Aug. 12.

Falcon Flight triumphed over Eagle Flight, with a final score of 1,400 to700, answering that Mr. Norris served four years as a military officer before learning martial arts. Airmen from Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Peterson and Schriever Air Force Base participate in the course. ALS provides senior airmen with tools to understand their position structurally and to become effective noncommissioned officers.

The Jeopardy challenge was put on by the Junior Enlisted Association.

“It (Jeopardy) is two-fold — it gets the students to learn about the Junior Enlisted Association,” said Master Sgt. Tami Toma, 21st Force Support Squadron, ALS commandant. “Senior Airmen are able to learn about the association and history at the same time. The students get important leadership traits to be front line supervisors. Whether they stay in the Air Force or not they use supervisory skills anywhere. We saw an increase in test scores before and after the Jeopardy (contest),” she said.

Participation in JEA is encouraged throughout ALS, she said.

ALS is an in-residence course and the first level of enlisted Professional Military Education that enlisted Airmen complete in their Air Force career. The five-week course is designed to develop a mindset and associated skills within four core graduate attributes of every senior airman: combat leader, supervisor of Airmen, military professional and supervisory communicator. In order to be promoted to the staff sergeant rank, graduation is mandatory.

“ALS means a lot — it is your stepping stone to learn friendships and bond, so why not learn a fun game,” said Tech. Sgt. Alyse Partridge, former Air Force Enlisted Association president and moderator for Jeopardy. “Some Airmen- they just need encouragement.”

About one and a half years prior to the ALS Jeopardy tool’s début, a three-person ALS team proposed Jeopardy and in December 2008 presented it to ALS. The learning tool was tested before official unveiling to senior airmen. The team considered basic training and dress appearance guidelines to create learning tool questions. Question categories include Iraq, basic training and enlisted heroes.

Supervisors from prior graduating classes assisted the teams throughout the learning tool implementation.

The day after Jeopardy, the winning senior airmen were served breakfast by technical sergeants. Similar to Jeopardy teamwork, senior airmen created a Year of Leadership wrap-up as a graduation project and explained why each theme is important to them. Two staff sergeant-select senior airmen graduated in the class.

ALS operates at 69 locations across the Air Force, and seven classes graduate each year at each of the locations. All graduates receive 10 semester hours of college credit.

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