Project X
A volunteer from the Squadron Officer College on Maxwell Air Force Base repaints part of an obstacle at the Project X leadership reaction course. Volunteers from the faculty and staff of the SOC spent over 100 combined man hours on a Saturday refurbishing the course to ensure it remains an effective training tool for students at any one of Maxwell’s many schools. (U.S. Air Force Courtesy photo
Project X gets a facelift



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


1/27/2014 - Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. -- Recently, 28 Squadron Officer College faculty and staff volunteers dedicated more than 100 hours to refurbish the college's Project X leadership reaction course on Maxwell.

Project X is used by Squadron Officer School, Officer Training School, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy and other schools on Maxwell to teach thousands of Airmen and joint service members problem solving, teamwork, and leadership skills annually.

"Project X is where we actually apply the academics and lessons learned in our classrooms," said 36th Student Squadron, SOS, assistant operations officer, Maj. Chris Zaworski. "Our students actually get to test out their newly acquired knowledge of various leadership/followership principles. They are challenged to problem solve, communicate, and work together as teams in stressful, physically challenging, and time-critical situations."

The volunteers dedicated their time to cleaning up, repainting, sanitizing, and replacing various components of the obstacles to make them safer and more effective tools for the students and staff.

"We had more volunteers than planned," said Maj. Brian Dodson 32nd Student Squadron, SOS, senior flight commander. "The faculty knows how important Project X is to Squadron Officer School, keeping it in pristine condition is vital. It was wonderful to see all the positive energy out there and people getting their hands dirty. It was a wonderful team building effort that made the 'Red Pants community' even stronger."

The SOC faculty, known as the "Red Pants," noticed some wear and tear and coordinated a clean-up effort to preserve the 59-year-old training tool, Dodson added.

Often called "the crown jewel of SOS," the leadership course is used by each SOS class three times, one of which includes participation with the SNCOA class to build teamwork and cooperation between enlisted and officer leaders.

Through the use of volunteers the faculty and staff members of SOC were able to ensure that future students are able to learn and develop as leaders at the Project X facility.

"The effort provided some buy-in and ownership for our flight commanders, who now have an added measure of appreciation not only for the facility but the upkeep that it requires," said Zaworski.