News: Airman captures images of EPME studies
Story by Master Sgt. Michael Smith
MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Tech. Sgt. Lakisha Croley from the 1st Combat Camera Squadron is putting together her photo album on what she did this summer: Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
Croley is an active duty Air Force photographer assigned at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina. For the last six weeks she studied leadership here at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, so she decided to photograph the experience.
"It's really out of habit," said Croley. "Whenever I go TDY, if I can bring my own camera equipment and just document what I'm doing and what I'm going through, I do that just to tell the story."
Croley serves in the largest of four Air Force combat camera squadrons. The squadrons give Defense leaders and the public firsthand images "during wartime, worldwide crises, contingencies, joint exercises, and other events," said officials.
"I like our purpose," she said. "I like that we are telling the military story and letting the public know what we are doing too."
She took hundreds of images on campus this summer, but her real focus was on future opportunities because Noncommissioned Officer Academy is needed for her next promotion.
The TEC's Paul H. Lankford EPME Center delivers both NCOA and Airman Leadership School to thousands of Total Air Force students each year, as well as Coast Guard and international students.
"I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to come here," she said.
She said her favorite part of the academy was learning the "Four Lenses" - a lesson that clarifies personality traits and their effect on communication and understanding.
"I want to be a good supervisor, and I want to take care of, and understand, my people," she said.
Croley said that an understanding of others can also be communicated through a camera's lens. She photographed candid images of service members in oversees contingency operations that helped communicate their service to viewers around the world.
"I think what makes a good military photo is a powerful image, something that needs no caption and evokes an emotion," said Croley.
Of the many moments she captured here, her favorite was of students training in the Profession of Arms - especially reveille and retreat practice with the flag.
"With the mix of Guard and Reserve and the active duty and international, there's some of us that don't do it very often," she said. "And [I liked] just capturing how people evolved into a working group," she said.
Croley plans to share her photographs with her classmates, so their summer scrapbooks can also hold memories at TEC.
"It's been a good experience, said Croley. "I've learned a lot."