Airmen learn leadership from the Corps
KADENA AIR BASE - Three senior airmen from various units across Kadena recently completed the U.S. Marine Corps Strategic Corporals Course.
The professional military education course is designed to provide leadership classes and field training to Marine Corps corporals, said U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jonathan Collins, chief instructor of Strategic Corporals Course 530-12.
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma hosted the course in September, to prepare and educate 49 future NCOs, from multiple services across Okinawa.
To help foster joint force cooperation, Collins invited Senior Airmen Aaron Jones, 18th Civil Engineering Squadron operations management journeyman, Sasha Korjenic, 18th CES water fuels systems maintenance journeyman, and Raynard Spence, 18th Maintenance Group knowledge operations journeyman into the most recent course.
"This is the first time I've seen (Marines, Airmen and Soldiers) in the same class," said Collins.
Collins explained that having NCOs from the different services has been a great learning tool for the students.
During the course, students learned how to deal with certain issues and how to effectively solve problems.
Service members involved in the course also learned how to lead fellow NCOs, regardless of service affiliation, based on joint force operations, Collins explained. They also learn various combat maneuvers alongside their peers during the course.
Spence explains how different physical training is between the branches. Where Airmen aren't used to training in "boots and utilities," Marines lead by example.
"The combat functional training (of the course) was pretty challenging," said Spence. "We were in uniform because (the course) simulates a combat environment. It was really challenging but beneficial (to learn about )camaraderie and how the Marines react to each other."
Another challenge of the course was fireman carrying their peers while running to the next obstacle, said Korjenic.
Marine Corps Cpl. Ronald Sanchez, Headquarters to Headquarters Squadron air traffic control maintenance, explains how Kadena's Airmen surprised him since they typically aren't used to training the way Marines do.
"To be honest I was really quite surprised," said Marine Corps Cpl. Ronald Sanchez, Headquarters to Headquarters Squadron air traffic control maintenance. "I didn't expect them to do so exceptionally well in the course."
Each Airman involved in the course said they received a great impression of the Marines, and that they have more pride in their service and a better understanding of why Marines have so much pride in their branch of service.
"Once you get to know them, you realize that if you were in a combat environment, they would give their life for you," said Spence.
While the Airmen do not receive Airman Leadership School equivalent credit for the course, they were proud to participate and feel they are more prepared for leadership roles down the road.
"Even though the course wasn't catered to us, there are all kinds of people and personalities in the Air Force," said Korjenic. "But we can take pieces of (the leadership course) and bring it back to our junior Airmen."