Program increases, enhances PME opportunities for Guard and Reserve officers Published July 12, 2007 By Lt. Col. Linda Haseloff Air University Public Affairs MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Leaders of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve have long recognized the importance of professional military education for career progression. However, U.S. Guard and Reserve officers traditionally have had limited availability for on-base seminar programs for Air Command and Staff College. Due to increased operations tempo and the need to fulfill full-time civilian jobs, a small number of Air Reserve Component personnel are able to attend PME in residence. Consequently, Guard and Reserve leaders sought other means to increase PME opportunities for guardsmen and reservists while enhancing their learning experience. The ACSC Air Reserve Component Seminar Program was designed in 2004 to fulfill that need. "The ARCS program is conducted in student-led seminars with Guard and Reserve facilitators," said Lt. Col. Joyce Guthrie, ACSC ANG Component liaison. "This type of learning helps convert some of the 'square filling' attitudes toward those of learning and enjoyment of PME." Participants in the program spend the initial two weeks in seminar at ACSC on Maxwell covering material from blocks one and two to include taking tests for those blocks. After returning home, they complete blocks three, four and five (including tests) on their own via the distance learning program. Blocks six and seven, along with the final tests, are completed back in seminar at ACSC for the last two weeks. Upon completion, students are awarded an ACSC non-residence diploma. Maj. Paul Gifford, weather officer with the 953rd Reserve Support Squadron, Joint Forces Command, said when he initially enrolled in ACSC through its distance learning program, it was difficult getting started, finding time to study between family and job responsibilities. "We started class on June 18, and these two weeks here at the Air Reserve Component Seminar have kept me focused on learning and got me jazzed about the ACSC material," he said. "The work load is greater than I expected but it's been enjoyable to just take time, sit and be focused on the readings. I will definitely complete ACSC this time and get my diploma." According to Colonel Guthrie, the intent of the program is to facilitate Guard and Reserve officer completion of intermediate development education (Air Command and Staff College), promote networking and interaction among majors in the field, and allow them to share in the academic experience provided by Air Command and Staff College. For more information on the ACSC ARCS program, contact Colonel Guthrie at (334) 953-9820. Air Reserve Component Seminar is also conducted for Guard and Reserve Air War College Distance Learning participants. Twice yearly, guardsmen and reservists from around the United States gather to cover the first block of instruction in the AWC DL program. The program differs from the ACSC program in that AWC ARCS participants must complete the program on their own without returning the following year. For more information about the AWC ARCS program, contact Col. Steve Hagel, AWC Reserve Liaison at (334) 953-4367.