By Daisy Grant, Staff Writer
/ Published July 06, 2018
The first class of Airman Leadership School to include a civilian on Tinker Air Force Base is in full swing, and the practice is set to continue into the future.
Kimberly Moses, an equal opportunity specialist in the 72nd Air Base Wing Equal Opportunity Office, said she heard about the opportunity through an email from Bob Sandlin, 72nd ABW director of staff, gauging interest.
“I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to learn about the military culture and also get some knowledge about what it’s like to be a lower level supervisor for first time NCOs,” Moses said.
Civilians have attended ALS previously at Edwards Air Force Base and Hill Air Force Base. Master Sgt. Bobby Kazmir said it was successful for them, so he took the best of both of their practices and adapted it for Tinker AFB.
Moses was selected by ABW leadership. Future civilians will be vetted through their squadron and recommended to a selection board including the Commandant, 72nd ABW director of staff and 72nd ABW command chief.
“(Moses going through ALS) is going to let us finesse and fine tune the policy and make sure that the terminology is correct and it’s fair and equitable across the board and we want it to truly be valuable to the Airmen,” Kazmir said.
The first of four leadership courses required at different ranks, ALS is a 24 academic day course focusing on supervisory roles, communication, networking and more. Those attending receive nine hours of college credit from the school.
The school hosts seven classes a year, most with three ‘flights’ of 13 people each, with the exception of one class with an additional flight of 10.
Civilians attending ALS will have the same requirements as military members, except the requirement to pass an Air Force physical training test.
Kazmir said it made sense to incorporate civilians into the training because of the large amount that work alongside Airmen in the Air Force Materiel Command.
The training helps civilians gain transferable leadership skills and helps everyone better understand the importance of other jobs on base working to accomplish the mission, he said.
“Our civilian Airmen do just as much, if not more, than (military members) do and are vital to our continuity,” Kazmir said.
“It certainly helps people understand what other people bring to the fight, that their job is not the most important. Often times they find they cannot do their jobs without the support of the other people.”
However, since ALS is required for promotion for military members and not for civilians, and because of the time commitment, he anticipates just one civilian going through at a time.
“In a perfect world we’re taking the best of the best so that way they can provide a value-added experience by bringing their experiences to Airman Leadership School for the Airmen and Sailors and the other students they interact with for six weeks,” Kazmir said.