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Learning to lead: Flight Leadership Course

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Miranda Mahoney
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Officers and senior enlisted members ready to learn how to become better leaders attended a four-day Flight Leadership Course at the Scott Professional Development Center that began Oct. 26.  

As the 20 attendees trickled in and searched for a place to sit, Lt. Col. Brendan Hopkins, 458th Airlift Squadron commander, greeted them with excitement and, because of the current climate, a forehead thermometer.  

“The focus is on giving the front line supervisors the information necessary to grow and develop their Airmen so we can have an effective fighting force and so we can take care of our people,” said Hopkins.

Several speakers who have years of experience shared their knowledge about what makes a good leader and gave specific advice about topics such as caring for self and others, managing resources, executing the mission, growing and developing Airmen, and improving their units. 

To kick-off the course, Col. J. Scot Heathman, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander, spoke about some of the things he learned throughout his career and how he got to where he is today.

While talking, Heathman grabbed a worn down journal he had brought with him and held it up for the attendees to see. The pages were slightly yellowed and rippled in the corners. He stated that it was 15 years old and full of leadership advice he had received in various courses or even life experiences he had learned from.

“I encourage you all to write,” said Heathman. “I’ve got all kinds of books like this, and I try to put it all in this one because I hope to give it to my son someday. These are the words, advice and wisdom that resonate with me. I try to write it all down in here. Writing stuff down engrains it in your mind a bit better. There is a connection between writing and learning. It helps you take it all in so that you can have valuable moments of reflection later.”

Hopkins explained that the course is currently held once a quarter and is mainly for flight commanders and flight chiefs, but if everything goes well and there is an interest, it may be available to the whole installation via virtual means later.