Junior officers learn lessons of leadership

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Valentina Viglianco
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
More than 50 company-grade officers participated in the second annual Company Grade Officer Leadership Summit, hosted by the 11th Wing here, March 1.

“This year’s theme was lessons on leadership,” said Capt. Noah Coakley, 11th Wing Staff Agency assistant staff judge advocate and summit creation team member. “This is a great chance to network with peers, gain valuable insight from leaders across the spectrum and strengthen CGOs’ professional toolkits to best lead our Airmen into the future.”

The event included topics on enlisted professional development, U.S. economy, leadership qualities and career guidance.

Coakley attended the first summit last year, which focused on how to promote oneself as a CGO and make the best of one’s own Air Force career. He said this year the summit creation team wanted to teach CGOs to not only push themselves to be the best they can be, but also teach them to support and inspire the Airmen they supervise.

The summit creation team designed the event to develop CGOs, especially those who lead large units, into qualified mentors and bridge the gap between the officer and enlisted force.

The event’s seven speakers included enlisted, officer and civilian leaders from JBA and the National War College in Washington, D.C.

Special guest speaker Maj. Gen. Roosevelt Allen, Office of the Surgeon General director of medical operations and research and chief of the dental corps, spoke about his philosophy on leadership.

“I’ve been in the Air Force for 32 years and I’ve had the opportunity to learn quite a bit,” Allen said.

He then detailed what he called the “ABCs of leadership,” beginning with “A” for ask.

“Throughout your military or professional life there will be times when you have to ask questions and ask people for advice,” Allen said. “Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Remember that, no matter what you do in life.”

Day two of the summit is scheduled for March 23 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., where there will be more hands-on exercises for the attendees. One exercise Coakley said, will be about communication style, putting CGOs into commander roles and giving them a scenario to work through.

CGOs interested in attending the next session, can reach out to Coakley at 240-612-5756.