Airman PES Takes Off!

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Colin Smith
  • 9RW/PA

The first ever Airman Professional Enhancement Seminar (PES) was held July 10 - 15 here. This new course is designed to equip Airmen with the knowledge and tools necessary to take steps confidently throughout their careers in the Air Force.
“Now we know that they [the Airmen] are going to have the tools and the resources to take whatever career path that they want to choose,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Andrew Willis, 9th Force Support Squadron development non-commissioned officer (NCO).
A team of NCO’s and senior NCO’s developed Airman PES for the betterment of their Airmen. This course is offered through Recce University (Recce U), Beale Air Force Base’s Professional Military Education department. Unlike other Recce U courses, this program focuses on hard skills. Hard skills are technical skills acquired through education and measured through one's ability to perform them. Whereas, soft skills are behavioral skills, such as being a good team member or speaking more than one language.
Airman PES is the answer to a lot of questions that leadership has received from Airmen regarding their careers. The program lasts one week long and covers a wide array of hard skills such as open ranks, budget making, building a promotion packet, organizational skills, military writing and culminates with a volunteer activity. Each area is geared toward teaching Airmen to be knowledgeable and self-sufficient, reminding them of the standards of the Air Force but also giving them the knowledge to find where these standards are written.
“Being the only senior airman here, Airmen PES is full of stuff I wish I'd known earlier in my career,” said Senior Airman Stewart Grieder, 9th Maintenance Squadron aircrew egress systems technician. “I've still gotten a lot of useful tools out of it that I want to take with me into my time as a NCO.”
The program is geared to set up and prepare Airmen to take ownership of their futures despite the condition of their leadership. Whether the things taught in the course are new to some or refreshers for others, this course ensures that the valuable knowledge in these hard skill areas is taught and attained.
“As an airman, a lot of people try to pass down advice or help but it’s hard to take it when you’re not at a stage where you need it,” said Airman 1st Class Melissa Chiu, 9th Operations Support Squadron radar airfield weather systems technician. “This course helped to walk through a lot of those bits of advice I had received and showed me the ‘why’ behind their importance. I highly recommend this course, it has been my favorite developmental course I’ve taken so far.”
Airman PES is just the newest option of the many courses offered by Recce University. Each course gives beneficial information on different topics allowing Airmen the space to develop both personally and professionally. Challenging them to become the best Airman they can be.
For more information on the courses offered by Recce U visit: