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NEWS | March 14, 2012

Building the leaders of tomorrow

By Staff Sgt. Katie Gieratz Joint-Base Charleston Public Affairs

Whether you are in the military or in the civilian sector of the workforce you are always going to have a supervisor. Here at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base all active duty Air Force members are required to attend Airman Leadership School which provides the necessary tools to become an effective supervisor.

The six-week course is designed to enhance leadership capabilities. Airmen selected to attend ALS must be a senior airman for 48 months or have a promotion number for staff sergeant.

"We provide all necessary tools and information for students to become effective and efficient supervisors." said Technical Sgt. John Toth, 628th Force Support Squadron ALS instructor. "However, the desire to actually become a great supervisor is their sole responsibility."

The ALS course and team of instructors provide student's 27 lessons to enhance their leadership capabilities. Topics of discussion include: communication, problem solving, group dynamics, stress management and standards and discipline. Each instructor is involved with the activities, engaging student participation every step of the way.

"Every course is different and every instructor is different, but here we thrive on the daily interaction with students," said Toth. "The staff we have at JB Charleston is anything but boring and the lessons are designed to fully engage the students."

"We have three incredibly motivated members on our team," said Master sgt. Louis Gosseck, 628th FSS ALS commandant. "Each instructor demonstrates all the positive qualities of a great Airman. A primary example is their teamwork. It is like they can tell what the others are thinking or need. It is incredible."

"I wanted to become an instructor because I wanted to reach future leaders," said Toth. "I wanted the chance to be a positive influence and help make a change for the Air Force's future."

Each element of the course demonstrates varying situations Airmen may encounter throughout their military career as well as reinforcing Air Force standards.

One exercise, the Nwonku tribe exercise, demonstrates the importance of effective communication and demonstrates communication barriers that relate to global diversity and regional awareness that could occur on deployment.

Airmen are also required to perform briefings and participate in interpersonal discussions, acting as a supervisor or subordinate while being evaluated by an instructor.

The Airmen are also required to participate in physical fitness program that occurs three times a week to increase their strength, cardiovascular fitness and teamwork.

"During their time at ALS students participate in sports challenges between each flight, circuit training, running sprints and distance, mock physical fitness tests and a volleyball game against the first sergeants and chiefs." said Technical Sgt. Brandon Hutchins, 628th FSS ALS non-commissioned officer in charge. "Our goal is for the students to improve their teamwork, physical fitness and morale."

"ALS is like anything else in life, you get out what you put into it." said Gosseck. "Our main goal is for the Airmen to succeed and press forward with their careers."