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The ‘Top 3’ chatting with the ‘O-3s’

Senior NCOs and captains from Air University’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Squadron Officer School, respectively, gather in the Polifka Auditorium during a cross-school training day Jan. 29, 2020, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Throughout the day the more-than 270 senior NCOs and 698 captains asked and answered one another’s questions to better understand the decision making and action taking processes of the other.

Senior NCOs and captains from Air University’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Squadron Officer School, respectively, gather in the Polifka Auditorium during a cross-school training day Jan. 29, 2020, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Throughout the day the more-than 270 senior NCOs and 698 captains asked and answered one another’s questions to better understand the decision making and action taking processes of the other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Quay Drawdy)

Senior NCOs and captains from Air University’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Squadron Officer School, respectively, meet and discuss leadership, ideals, expectations and more during a cross-school training day Jan. 29, 2020, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Throughout the day the more-than 270 senior NCOs and 698 captains asked and answered one another’s questions to better understand the decision making and action taking processes of the other.

Senior NCOs and captains from Air University’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Squadron Officer School, respectively, meet and discuss leadership, ideals, expectations and more during a cross-school training day Jan. 29, 2020, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Throughout the day the more-than 270 senior NCOs and 698 captains asked and answered one another’s questions to better understand the decision making and action taking processes of the other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Quay Drawdy)

Senior NCOs and captains from Air University’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Squadron Officer School, respectively, meet and discuss leadership, ideals, expectations and more during a cross-school training day Jan. 29, 2020, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Throughout the day the more-than 270 senior NCOs and 698 captains asked and answered one another’s questions to better understand the decision making and action taking processes of the other.

Senior NCOs and captains from Air University’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Squadron Officer School, respectively, meet and discuss leadership, ideals, expectations and more during a cross-school training day Jan. 29, 2020, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Throughout the day the more-than 270 senior NCOs and 698 captains asked and answered one another’s questions to better understand the decision making and action taking processes of the other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Quay Drawdy)

Senior NCOs and captains from Air University’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Squadron Officer School, respectively, meet and discuss leadership, ideals, expectations and more during a cross-school training day Jan. 29, 2020, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Throughout the day the more-than 270 senior NCOs and 698 captains asked and answered one another’s questions to better understand the decision making and action taking processes of the other.

Senior NCOs and captains from Air University’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy and Squadron Officer School, respectively, meet and discuss leadership, ideals, expectations and more during a cross-school training day Jan. 29, 2020, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Throughout the day the more-than 270 senior NCOs and 698 captains asked and answered one another’s questions to better understand the decision making and action taking processes of the other. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Quay Drawdy)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

The Polifka Auditorium, capable of seating 1,100 people, was just shy of being filled to capacity when all of Air University’s Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Academy visited Squadron Officer School for a full day of mentorship and open-communication Jan. 30, 2020, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

More than 270 senior NCOs bussed in from Gunter Annex, Ala., to spend the day with the 698 captains attending SOS class 20-B.

“This sort of thing lets us see each other’s perspectives,” said Master Sgt. Brent Hinton, SNCOA student, Barksdale Air Force Base, La. “These officers are getting ready to become squadron commanders and get to see that senior NCO are as much a resource for them as they are for us.”

Throughout their time at SOS, the highest tier of the enlisted force traded stories, ideals, expectations and more, fulfilling their charge as senior NCOs to mentor their company-grade officer counterparts while also hearing what their captains had to say.

“This is easily one of the best days in the course so far,” said Capt. Lori Jones, SOS student, March Air Reserve Base, Cali. “We talked about everything from enlisted career progression to how to maintain relationships with our enlisted Airmen that are a healthy balance of professional and friendly. To anyone else that gets this chance: bring questions.”