Course 15 paves way for future AF leaders

A U.S. Air Force Airman reviews Course 15 material, March 16, 2016, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Course 15 is a distance-learning format for enlisted Airmen that is a portion of the NCO Academy experience. Regardless of rank, when enlisted Airmen reach their seven year time-in-service date, they will receive a notification from the Air Force Personnel Center and are required to enroll and complete Course 15 within a 12-month timeframe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho/Released)

A U.S. Air Force Airman reviews Course 15 material, March 16, 2016, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Course 15 is a distance-learning format for enlisted Airmen that is a portion of the NCO Academy experience. Regardless of rank, when enlisted Airmen reach their seven year time-in-service date, they will receive a notification from the Air Force Personnel Center and are required to enroll and complete Course 15 within a 12-month timeframe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho/Released)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Professional development, a road to success paved by Air Force leadership for future leaders, is a foundational part in the career growth and advancement of Airmen.

As Airmen climb the ranks and progress in their careers, professional military education classes such as Course 15, a distance-learning format for enlisted Airmen that is a portion of the NCO Academy experience, must be accomplished.

"Course 15 provides basic junior NCOs institutional competency development required to lead and manage Air Force units in the employment of air and space power," said LaShondria Smith, 39th Force Support Squadron chief of education and training. "It is the prerequisite for selection and attendance to the NCO Academy Intermediate Leadership Experience."
Regardless of rank, when enlisted Airmen reach their seven year time-in-service date, they will receive a notification from the Air Force Personnel Center requiring them to enroll and complete Course 15 within 12 months of notice.

"PME is one of the building blocks Airmen must complete," said Chief Master Sgt. Vegas Clark, 39th Air Base Wing command chief. "My advice to our Course 15 eligible Titans is to read and study the course material provided. Get familiar with the concepts for each lesson objective and be able to apply those concepts to the questions that will be asked on an exam."

The course dives further into leadership and managerial skills experienced NCOs should have. The curriculum has 168 contact hours of individual study.

"Course 15 consists of four core attributes: military professional, operational airman, unit manager and managerial communicator," said Smith. "To successfully complete this course, students are required to pass two course exams, demonstrating curriculum mastery by attaining the minimum passing score on each exam."

Due to the length and difficulty of the course, Vegas encourages Airmen to enroll in Course 15 when they are notified and complete it as soon as possible.

"The material in Course 15 will challenge each Airman," said Vegas. "This isn't something you can just breeze through; it requires a higher level of cognitive application and prepares you for the Intermediate Leadership Experience course. Time management and a positive attitude will be vital to meeting this PME requirement."

Vegas says that Airmen who complete the course early set themselves apart from those who fail to complete it within the 12-month notification period.

Those who exceed the one-year completion timeframe will automatically be rendered ineligible to re-enlist or extend until the requirement is met. Additionally, if the distance learning course is not completed on time and it's on or after the promotion eligibility cutoff date, Airmen are ineligible for promotion during the promotion cycle. This includes testing, consideration if already tested or cancellation of a promotion sequence number if previously selected. A promotion sequence number will not be reinstated upon course completion.

Following course completion, Airmen are awarded nine Community College of the Air Force semester hours.

For more information about Course 15 or other PME classes, contact the education center at 676-3211.