Information & Updates

Air University’s Barnes Center releases new NCO DLC

Barnes Center for Enlisted Education shield

Courtesy graphic


Air University’s Barnes Center releases new NCO DLC

MAXWELL AFB. Ala, -- The Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education has released a transformed NCO Distance Learning Course (NCO DLC). 

The Barnes Center took feedback from Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve students and leadership to develop a professional military education course that is more relevant to the way NCOs work and learn. 

The new NCO DLC is interactive, delivered via audio, video and text on any device and can be completed at the time and place of the student’s choosing. The student readings and audio files are also downloadable, which allows students to access the files even while disconnected from the internet.

The course format was transformed from a 1000-page PDF file to four outcome-based, multimedia modules. The four interactive modules cover leadership, culture, problem solving and mission. The modules are based on the national strategic documents to prepare NCOs with the most up-to-date information across the force. Additionally, the long, scenario-based test questions have been replaced by four, short 20-question assessments. Test taking now is done on the student’s own device, which saves them a trip to an education office.

Student feedback for the new course has been overwhelmingly positive so far. The improved efficiency, relevancy and convenience of the course has given students the tools they need to be effective leaders at the operational level.  

 “I’m super excited for the new distance learning course to roll out in July,” said Chief Master Sgt. Sherry Marnell, Barnes Center ANG advisor. “The course has completely transformed to better meet the needs of Airmen. Its more student-centered, and our Airmen can immediately implement what they learned within their work centers.”

“The opportunities and agility that the NCODLC delivers to our part-time/full-time workforce is the versatility of the future. Reservists from young Airmen to senior leadership are anticipating distance learning modalities to lead to successful performances!” said Chief Master Sgt. Teresita Kobilis, Barnes Center’s AFRC advisor.

This course is open to all Guard and Reserve staff sergeants and technical sergeants. Students may enroll at any time, and they will have four months to complete the four course modules. There are no restrictions to a specific class start date, so students can fit the course into their schedule when it is most convenient.

Lessons learned from the NCO DLC have helped the Barnes Center leadership team plan for the Airman Leadership DLC that will go into beta testing in August 2020 and the Senior NCO DLC, which is on track for a December 2020 beta test. 

For more information and to register for NCO DLC, visit