ALPENA, Mich. – –
The Michigan National Guard hosted its seventh annual joint professional development training April 19-21 at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center.
Supported by personnel from all three Michigan National Guard air bases and a variety of armories, the event drew its largest attendance yet with 277 participants, including enlisted and officer members.
The training was broken out into two separate conferences for the junior officers (up to O-4) and junior enlisted (up to E-6) guard members. The junior officer training event focused on preparing for command, mentoring subordinates, and key leadership focuses, whereas the enlisted training event focused on leading through diversity. Both breakouts provided many professional development and education resources to advance servicemembers’ careers.
“The members of the Michigan National Guard want to develop their careers and better themselves,” said Air Force Capt. Jonathan M. Johnson, Director of Operations, 217th Air Communications Squadron, Michigan Air National Guard. “The growing popularity and attendance of this course is proof.”
Johnson said that this event is all about connecting senior leaders that want to mentor junior members looking to advance their careers.
The Michigan National Guard was honored to host Chief Master Sgt. Maurice L. Williams, the Air National Guard command chief, as keynote speaker for the event.
Williams provided key leadership advice and mentorship to junior officers during his visit.
“The foundation of building a high performing team is trust,” he said.
Williams also pointed out the importance of National guard leaders to “think global” and “act local,” emphasizing the role of guard members in the National Defense Strategy, while operating and completing the mission at a base level.
“The junior enlisted course is all about connecting with and developing the future leaders of the Michigan Air and Army National Guard,” said Senior Master Sgt. Darrell Kingsbury, professional development coordinator for the Michigan Air National Guard.
Kingsbury added that he was very excited for next year’s course, as there are plans to expand the scope of the course to all ranks of the Michigan National Guard.