Effective training plans set Airmen up for success

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashley J. Thum
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Airmen must complete a variety of tasks upon being assigned to their first base to ensure they fully understand the duties and responsibilities of their new job.

Career Development Courses, together with on-the-job training, are used to familiarize new Airmen with their role at work and upgrade their skill level - providing them with a broader range of leadership and assignment possibilities.

Master Sgt. Amy Elliott, 28th Mission Support Group Consolidated Training Office superintendent, said the ideal upgrading process for Airmen involves a solid master training plan and plenty of on-the-job training.

"Each work center has a master training plan, which is essentially a `road map' designed by supervisors to fully train each Airman," Elliott explained. "The subject knowledge gained from the CDCs must then be used by the trainers to show Airmen how to apply that knowledge through task performance."

Elliott stressed the importance of having training plans that work in harmony with the CDCs for a particular job. The order in which volumes are issued should directly correspond to what an Airman is learning hands-on.

"The CDC volumes do not have to be issued in order," Elliott said. "If volume three relates to the duties an Airman is performing in the work center and needs to be proficient in right away, then a supervisor should issue volume three first."

Senior Airman Tilli Ghale, 28th Medical Group unit deployment manager, received a 94 percent on his "Health Services Management" CDC, and said he spent a great deal of time performing hands-on training while completing the upgrading process.

"When I came here, I was assigned to medical records, and I learned how to retire, file, audit, transfer and pull records for providers," Ghale explained. "It greatly improved my communication and customer service skills."

Senior Airman Brandon Stout, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department driver operator, received a 100 percent on the first of his seven-level CDCs, "Fire Instructor I," and said he has earned licenses for all 10 emergency response vehicles used at the Fire Department, in addition to completing his five-level CDCs.

"We also have an annual training plan that we break down monthly to accomplish," Stout said. "The annual training involves classes, structural drills, aircraft and structural training fires, confined space and HAZMAT (hazardous material) exercises, medical and aircraft egress."

Elliott encourages supervisors to incorporate hands-on tasks into their Airmans' training.

"So many people are visual learners," Elliott said. "They can read about something all day long, but until they see the task being performed it will not be solidified."

Stout said his supervisor clearly communicated what was expected of him, and drove him to excel.

"He pushed me not to settle for anything less than my best, because people's lives depend on it," Stout said. "Many others here have had a similar impact on my career. Their personal experiences, knowledge, and different types of teaching methods have helped me understand things very easily when it comes to learning something new."

Ghale said he also received helpful advice from his supervisors, mentors and other Airmen.

"As 4A0X1s, we work in multiple sections - including Tricare, resource management, information systems and medical readiness," Ghale explained. "My current supervisor recommended I visit different sections within the clinic and learn from the experts of those respective sections, putting `faces to places.'"

Stout added he was excited about receiving a perfect score on his CDC, and hopes it will encourage others to work toward that, as well.

"We get pretty competitive with each other here at the fire station," Stout said. "The competitiveness helps us push one another to want to do better. It sets the expectations for the new guys who come in, and gives them something to strive for."

Ghale said completing his CDCs was a formidable task, but one he was highly motivated to accomplish.

"I knew that our CDCs were some of the most difficult in the Air Force," Ghale explained. "There is no secret to success, it's just hard work. I worked hard, and it paid off."