Maxwell Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > Feature - AIC course empowers OTS instructors to train future leaders
Capt. Robert Hammerbeck, Officer Training School Commissioned Officer Training Course flight commander, gives feedback to 1st Lt. Leah Ordinanza, a commissioned officer trainee at OTS, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Oct. 24, 2013. The Academics Instructors Course teaches flight commanders to use the feedback session to provide the trainee with constructive criticism, and suggest possible improvements as well as lauding them for their strengths. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Gregory Brook)
Download HiRes
AIC course empowers OTS instructors to train future leaders

Posted 11/22/2013   Updated 11/22/2013 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Gregory Brook
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

11/22/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Air Force needs leaders. It needs leaders who can make decisions at a moment's notice. There is no warning, heads up or reminder email for some situations; there is just do. The Air Force needs leaders who can do.

The Academic Instructors Course, a part of the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development on Maxwell, trains Air Force Officer Training School flight commanders how to effectively teach leadership skills to the more than 2,300 new officers they develop annually.

Officer Training School is the commissioning course for officer trainees who did not go through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program or the U.S. Air Force Academy. It teaches future officers the skills they will need to defend the nation and to lead Airmen to defend it, as well.

The instructor course, at eight days of instruction, is a prerequisite to becoming an OTS flight commander. It is the part of their initial training that qualifies them to be instructors.
"The airmen [in OTS] that they are teaching are tomorrow's leaders," said Houston Markham, leadership studies curriculum area manager. "They all leave here commissioned, they will go lead. They will be your boss, they will be my boss."

The course teaches the instructors methods and exercises to involve the student in the learning process. It teaches them how to relate the students' experiences from outside the classroom to the leadership theories being taught in the classroom.

"There is a tremendous difference between briefing and teaching," Markham said. "We want our students to be outstanding teachers so the future officers they influence and teach will retain and apply lessons learned from OTS in the field."

The flight commanders are taught to ask open-ended questions, said Capt. Robert Hammerbeck, OTS Commissioned Officer Training Course flight commander. Asking those types of questions encourages students to become more involved with what the instructors are trying to teach and what they are trying to convey. It draws the students into the lesson and helps the students internalize the subject matter.

"The skills we learned in the academic instructors course allow me to teach the students in a more effective way," Hammerbeck said. "We strive to impart knowledge in such a way where it becomes instinctual. We strive to have them react with the knowledge we have taught rather than having to stop and think back to a lesson."

The academic instructors course also helps flight commanders tap into the students' different experience levels and backgrounds. The course teaches them to draw on the difference of life experience students in the class have and to develop a way to harness it.

It is a defining moment for an instructor when the student gains that level of understanding, said Ricky Lewis, leadership studies curriculum area manager. When the instructor sees the students have that eureka moment, they know that they have been successful; they know that learning has taken place.

"At the end of the day, especially at OTS, leadership is about making decisions and possessing the confidence to lead others," Hammerbeck said. "The Air Force does not recruit people simply for their skill sets. What the Air Force is trying to do at OTS is develop leaders. The flight commanders are developing leaders who are able to deal with stressful situations and make decisions that can have an immense impact on the lives of the Airmen who they lead."

No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside Maxwell AFB

ima cornerSearch

tabSocial Media Dashboard






tabTop StoriesRSS feed 
AFCLC to host first AU LREC Symposium

CCAF breaks record sixth consecutive year

The Future’s Laboratory

The BayMobile visits Maxwell Elementary Middle School to teach about coastal ecosystems.

Romanian couple learns and graduate together at Maxwell Air Force Base Officers Training School

Maxwell begins 24/7 access for fitness center

Maxwell Defenders recognized by AETC

823rd RED HORSE support OTS mission

Sharing the Heart of Europe

Maxwell Airman saves two in car accident

  arrow More Stories

tabAETC NewsRSS feed 
AETC website undergoing extreme makeover

Laughlin Air Force Club member wins truck

Living legend receives ROTC Distinguished Alumni award

Commentary – NCOs echo through eternity

D-models return to flight after longeron repair

Pillars of resiliency: spiritual resilience

Top cop visits Luke

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act