Advancing Airmen, bettering the force

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

While Airmen will continually move to new bases, changing missions and positions, one focus that never changes is ensuring Airmen make professional and personal development a priority by offering unique classes and understanding its benefits.


At Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, it is the job of U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dexter Robinson, 39th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor, to help Airmen advance in their careers while away from home.


As a career assistance advisor, some of his main tasks include providing information about retraining, including transitioning to a sister service, Guard or Reserve, officer training school opportunities and teaching young Airmen at the First Term Airmen Course. If that isn’t enough, members across the base can also find Robinson during off-duty hours at the library for mentorship.


“What it means to advance an Airmen is to provide them information to help them improve and become proficient at their job, whether that is through FTAC, encouraging them to finish their CDC’s, encouraging them to be innovative in their solutions, [or] when we get into the NCO professional enhancement seminars and talk about bullet writing, ethics and core values, standards and discipline,” said Robinson.


While career assistance advisors manage relatively similar programs at any Air Force base, one unique professional development tool he manages at Incirlik AB is the Titan's University Program. The Titan University Program has 39 basic professional development courses total, offering roughly five to seven a month. The courses are primarily taught by Senior NCOs and last one to two hours each.


“We do all different [courses] like how to write a memorandum, how to write and administer an [Letter of Counseling, Letter of Reprimand, Letter of Admonishment], as well as bullet and decoration writing,” said Robinson. “We talk about different things to help our Airmen be better as Airmen... because the more you know, the better off you will be. That is the goal with professional development, and as the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force says, deliberate development.”


The 39 core courses follow an Air Force syllabus and are geared towards junior enlisted and NCOs, as well as civilians and local nationals. However, Robinson has added extra classes, such as John Maxwell leadership courses and a class on the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s reading list to spark more interest for attendees.


“Since I have been here, since we’ve started to provide more opportunities, we have had more people complete the course than we have since the course was started back in 2015. Since I have been here we have a total of [5] people that have completed the [entire] course,” said Robinson. “We have had more people benefit from professional development, we just provided more opportunities for them to take part in it.”


As a way to recognize Airmen who attend a designated number of core, intermediate and advanced courses, there are three levels, Wingman, Leader and Warrior, in which the participant will receive a certificate, a coin and a plaque on the Warrior “Hall of Fame”.


“We are goal oriented as people anyway, so you have the Wingman, Leader, Warrior, which is right along with the creed... and which is right along with how AF leadership wants us to do things,” said Master Sgt. David Hardy, outgoing Airmen Leadership School commandant. “What they are able to do with [this program], is reach people where [Professional Military Education] doesn’t. This program allows for you to target that, and to make not just better Titans, make them better for the Air Force, so now you have a program in Titan U that is developing people for life.”


As to not only focus on the enlisted members, Robinson started an additional course, separate from Titan University, to meet the needs of company grade officers. Robinson offers classes on topics like the enlisted structure, but also takes it a step farther and host a Squadron Commanders panel to teach the participants about processes they may have to perform if they stay in the military.


“My goal is to give people information, because information is power and that’s how I see advancing, it is giving them the tools and giving them the opportunities to help them lead and to help them be proficient,” said Robinson.


Robinson encourages Airmen to utilize the extra time and education opportunities while stationed at Incirlik AB, to not only better their professional development, but to advance the Air Force.  For more information regarding the Titan University Program or career advice, contact Master Sgt. Robinson at 676-1019.