AWC welcomes class of 2014



by Donovan Jackson
Air University Public Affairs


7/31/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- Continuing the mission to educate officers to serve as strategic national security leaders, the Air War College welcomed the class of 2014 during its annual in-processing event Monday at the Maxwell Club.

The class of 245 students is comprised of 43 international officers from 42 different countries, 106 Air Force, 10 Navy, 10 Marine Corps, one Coast Guard, 18 civilians, 40 Army, nine Air National Guard and eight Air Force Reserve.

"These are future leaders of the Air Force," said Col. Kay Smith, AWC director of student operations. "Hard work and dedication will be expected from these students; however, it is hard work that will provide a lifetime of benefits."

During the next 44 weeks, the students will engage in a curriculum consisting of four major areas: leadership and ethics, international security studies, national and military strategy and joint war fighting.

In addition, the officer students will learn to develop their strategic and critical thinking skills and learn how to employ air and space forces on a global reach by participating in courses that cover a wide range of military operations in joint and multinational environments.

Lieutenant Col. Bill Stowe appreciates the opportunity to be enrolled in AWC as the selection process is very competitive. Stowe is one of the "First Thirty" students who were pre-selected to arrive at Maxwell before the main student body.

"This is an opportunity that is going to be very well utilized throughout the rest of my career," said Stowe. "The selection process is tremendously competitive, and with this opportunity, I firmly believe that the content in these courses will help to develop my classmates and me into future leaders."

First Thirty was established this year to provide senior student officers a week to develop their leadership team and set a vision for the incoming class. During that week, First Thirty students did various team building exercises, attended orientation and set class goals.

Class president, Col. David Drichta, said that he and his classmates are extremely excited to kick off the new school year.

"We are all looking forward to the school year," Drichta said. "For the next 10 months, we will get the opportunity to learn from one another, learn about everyone's different skill set and expertise and get to engage with international officers from various parts of the world. The school year will be both exciting and educational."