Taking care of my Airmen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christopher Tam
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – What is Airman Leadership School? ALS is probably the most stressful and overwhelming experience I have yet to go through in my Air Force career.

In my four and a half years in the Air Force, I have had multiple supervisors. Some good, some bad, and some in-between. Even before my ALS experience I knew what kind of a supervisor I didn’t want to be.

The type of supervisor I don’t want to be is the laissez-faire one. Basically, the lazy type that doesn’t do anything for their Airmen. Instead, I strive to be the transformational type. I want to be able to nurture, motivate, and lead them in the right direction. Unfortunately, we all get stuck with at least one laissez-faire supervisor in our career. The Air Force is very diverse. There are people from different backgrounds, faith, and culture. As a supervisor you have to be able to adapt to all the different cultures.

To be honest at first, I really did not want to be at ALS. I didn’t want to be stuck in a classroom. I hate public speaking, but you have to do it. Most of all I hate tests.

But…. Along the way I learned that it is not all tests and homework... My instructor told my flight we were going to build a life-long relationship with each other, and I didn’t believe her. I just wanted to focus on graduating.

In the end it was true what my instructor said. We built a relationship that would help the whole flight graduate while learning how to become an effective supervisors. Unfortunately, not all of us will be successful when we have our first subordinate however, we will have our peers to help us.

I love to network in my daily routine at work. In ALS, I was able to network even more. I learned more in depth about all the career fields in my flight. Not only did I learn about my flight’s career fields, but I got to know all of them on a personal level. We saw each other every day for five weeks. We marched together, studied together and ate lunch together. The flight made sure no Airman was left behind.

After going through the course, I realized how to manage my time a little better. With all the reading and assignments that are due on a daily basis, it’s hard to manage everything. Even though I won’t remember everything from ALS, there is one thing that I will never forget. Take care of my Airmen.