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AU Leader Development Course inspires, equips Airmen to thrive in command

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Katie DuBois
  • Air University Public Affairs

Sixty seven future squadron commanders recently graduated Air University’s Leadership Development Course for Squadron Command, Aug. 29, 2019, on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

This intensive eight day course was developed in response to the priority of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. David Goldfein, to ‘revitalize the squadron’ and aims to develop officers and civilians approaching positions of command.

The course consists of lectures, seminars and experiential learning events that focus on building human domain leadership skills, which are then applied through simulations, scenarios and discussions. By the end of the course, students develop their own personal philosophy of command, build self-awareness, understand the value of a peer network, improve command climate, align resources with the mission and values of the organization and prepare for an inspired squadron command.

Col. Jason Lamb, Air Education and Training Command Director of Intelligence, Analysis and Innovation, and founder of the LDC, spoke about the importance of the program during the recent course graduation.  

“The Air Force talks about leadership in snippets in other venues, but there is nothing really that is concentrated and solely focused on leadership,” said Lamb. “If it was being actually trained or taught anywhere else, it was as a block—a part of a larger course; nothing that just focuses on leadership. Most squadron command leadership training is focused on the administrative and legal aspects of leadership, not on the human domain aspect.”

The course aims to reframe the connotation of “command” by creating more mindful leaders through fostering open communication and behavior in all areas of squadron command leadership.

Maj. Richard Mottinelli, LDC graduate, said that having the perspective and mentorship from retired commanders and academic scholars helped give the students insight into leadership qualities, personality traits and communication tools that they have not received before from other professional military education courses.

“What this course did for me, personally, is help taper the fear of taking command,” Mottinelli said. “I feel a lot more prepared, equipped and, most importantly, more excited to be a commander than I did before, just because of the tools and preparation that this course provided.”