Leader Development Course for Squadron Command

  • Published
  • Commander Professional Development School

SECAF: “The Air Force needs healthy squadrons, that’s where the life of the Air Force is.  If you’ve got a great first sergeant and a fantastic squadron commander, what the chief and I do doesn’t matter very much.  The culture of the Air Force is set at the squadron, not in the headquarters of the Air Force.”

CSAF: “The squadron is the beating heart of the United States Air Force; our most essential team.  We succeed or fail in our missions at the squadron-level because that is where we develop, train, and build Airmen.”

Course objective:  Improve leader development of officers, civilians, and enlisted approaching command team selection in order to sharpen and focus human domain leadership skills to achieve mission success through high-performing teams.

Course mission: Inspiring Airmen and Guardians to thrive in command.

Course vision: Provide a course of instruction recognized Air Force and Space Force wide as a solid foundation upon which to build successful leader development approaching command. The course will reframe what “command” means to the student body of high performing Airmen and Guardians and give them tools to maximize squadron potential. This course intends to improve warfighting capability through creating more aware leaders, including intentionally deeper investments in the human domain and aligning mission and values. Our graduates will be leaders and mentors for their people, dedicated to personal and professional growth, committed to promoting open communication, shared values and focused on mission accomplishment.

Course values:  Through high quality instruction prepare future command teams to know and lead themselves, to communicate effectively among their superiors, subordinates, and peers, and to lead teams into the future. Students will value the alignment of Air and Space Forces core values and unit mission with personal values; learn to foster honest, fair, and trustworthy communication and behavior in all activities for which a squadron commander is charged; teach respect for the individual rights and dignity of all personnel; understand the time-honored responsibility, accountability, and discipline of command; and challenge leader development to continually improve.

Course details:

- CSAF initiative that connects to a broader continuum of learning and closes gaps discovered during the squadron vitality study to prepare officers, civilian and enlisted leaders to thrive in command

- Format: 8-day fast-paced, experiential and seminar-based course instructed by graduated squadron commanders and civilian academic experts

- Audience: commissioned officers between 9 and 16 years, civilians GS-13 and above and enlisted E-7 to E-9 leaders nominated/endorsed by their Wing Commanders as demonstrating highest potential to command/direct at the squadron level.

- Annual throughput: 66 students per class with ~17 classes totaling 1,100+ Total Force students per year


Course Outcomes

Prepare for an inspired squadron command

Build self-awareness and understand tendencies

Develop a personal philosophy of command

Understand the value of a peer network

Align resources with strategy, mission, vision & values

Assess and improve command climate & org culture

Value taking calculated risks & learning from mistakes

Value critical thinking & values in decision making