News: Satellite Non-Commissioned Officer Academy training returns to Vermont
Story by Staff Sgt. Victoria Greenia
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Vermont Air National
Guard recently completed the first phase of the Satellite
Non-Commissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) course.
The course was offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings
for 12 weeks, senior NCO hopefuls have been attending
classes held here at the Vermont Air Guard base.
“Having a majority of the course held at the home base is
ideal for people who can’t just leave their job to get NCO
training,” said Senior Master Sgt. Cynthia Fitzgerald,
Lead Site Facilitator at the VTANG.
An added benefit, she noted, is that it puts many people
in a school mind-set. This is becoming more important with
the possible onset of a Community College of the Air Force
requirement for promotion. The additional college classes
that may be required can seem less daunting after completing
this course; it allows them to see that they can be
successful working full time and taking a class.
The course is broadcast across the country to Air National
Guard Bases that are participating in the satellite course.
The course is delivered through the Air National Guard’s
TEC TV. TEC TV provides high-definition broadcasts for
virtual conferences, meetings and workshops. Student’s
interaction with instructors and classmates is facilitated
through microphones and virtual blackboards to communicate
with their peers.
The final two and a half weeks of the course are spent
in-house at McGhee Tyson Air Force Base’s Non-Commissioned
Officer Academy. The curriculum offered during the
in-residence training focuses on public speaking, writing,
dress and appearance, physical training, drill and ceremony
and upon completion full residence credit is granted.
This course was briefly curtailed due to the three-week
furlough that restricted military courses this fall, as a result
of this a 104-hour course was compressed into an 80-hour
course and VTANG airmen had intense nights in order to
meet the course’s gates and benchmarks.
“The test for the non-commissioned officer academy
course has changed,” Senior Master Sgt.Cynthia
Fitzgerald, lead site facilitator at the VTANG, said. “It’s
no longer a knowledge-based test. It’s not just regurgitating
information; it’s applying the principles covered in the
Case studies and vignettes provided in the course material
encourage potential senior NCOs to a process to identify,
differentiate, determine and predict issues to work through
problems. Analyzing these scenarios can be difficult, Fitzgerald
The base education and training office intends to schedule
the NCOA once a year in the fall and Airman Leadership
School in the spring. Each class needs a minimum of eight
people and can hold a maximum of 14. Technical sergeants
and senior airmen interested in a boost to their Air
Guard career by taking one of these classes can contact
Senior Master Sgt. Louis Mossey, VTANG force development
superintendent, for information.