Joint Base Charleston


Professional military education reaches to the masses at JB CHS

By Staff Sgt. Daniel Bowles | Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs | June 17, 2010

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- In the 21st century Air Force, cyberspace is filled with information options.

A trickle of available sites has quickly turned into a flood over the years, from Communities of Practice, Air Force public websites and the Air Force Portal, to a growing list of social networking sites.

The possible topics are nearly endless, and the search results just come close, eating away at the minutes in a day to shift through them all.

So, what about professional military education opportunities? What happens when a member of Joint Team Charleston is looking for information on that?

Run a quick search of the World Wide Web, and a few definitions and articles turn up, as well as a few links to the Air University website. The Air Force Portal will send browsers filtering through a variety of different links.

To combat the confusion which results from the Web, a senior noncommissioned officer at Joint Base Charleston is taking a stand.

Who needs professional military education? Just about everyone, according to Master Sgt. Donny Leydig, career assistance advisor at JB CHS, including civilians.

With his help, individuals looking to find their way through the labyrinth of choices and land on a firm foundation have a solid option. The master sergeant with experience who in four Air Force career fields has developed a one-stop shop for PME needs.

"We all need education," he said. "Any professional education that a member can get will only better their career. It will only better the individual at work and in personal life."

Enlisted PME has received much attention from the top tiers of leadership across the Air Force, said Sergeant Leydig.

"It kind of all got started with the Air Force because we had promoted people so fast to staff sergeant that there is a big long gap between staff and [technical sergeant]," he said.

The current state enlisted NCOs are in means there are unexpected gaps between more longstanding PME courses, such as Airmen Leadership School and Air Force NCO and Senior NCO Academies.

The solution was to stand up intermediate courses, which would occur between the other education intervals, said Sergeant Leydig.

"They're finding out that they're not getting this PME, so, the command chiefs all got together and said we need to do some type of class in between this," he said.

Such new courses now offered to Airmen at Charleston include:
· Airman Professional Enhancement Seminar
· NCO Professional Enhancement Seminar
· Senior NCO Professional Enhancement Seminar
· Professional Military Writing

A visit to Joint Base Charleston's Professional Enhancement Center's Community of Practice site allows a viewer to browse the courses for additional information and easily register for an available course.

Some of the courses are currently dictated by Air Force instruction but are not all mandatory to attend. Sergeant Leydig strongly encourages Joint Team Charleston members to bookmark the COP site and check it periodically for schedule openings.

With an overwhelming demand for courses, classes quickly fill, but Sergeant Leydig said he allows enjoys working with individuals to help them get into a course.

"My biggest passion is people. I like to help people," he said. "I like to make sure people understand what they have earned while they're in the military."

It was Sergeant Leydig's drive to help his military community which led to the development of the newly offered Professional Military Writing course, held for the first time June 16. Starting in the fall, he plans to add yet another course to the list.

Sergeant Leydig has also filled the COP with timely information and links for a range of career development topics, from education and training, to promotions, retraining, assignments and separation.

"If you want to make a change in the military, go make a change," said Sergeant Leydig. "Basically, I'm trying to make it a one-stop shop, so people can go on there for any career advice that they need. Whether you can find it all on the internet, which you can, this particular page breaks it all down."

To visit the JB CHS Professional Enhancement Center Community of Practice site, go to

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