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Dragon University takes flight at Keesler

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.-- The Air Force encourages its Airmen to aim high and the new Dragon University program at Keesler is tailored to help them get there.
 
The program was designed with the Enlisted Action Development Plan in mind to emphasize growth at the Airmen level.
 
“We're trying to deliberately get after what the Air Force wants to see,” said Master Sgt. Jonathan Talley, 81st Security Forces Squadron operations noncommissioned officer in charge. “We’re also trying to see how we can motivate our people locally.”
 
The new program has streamlined a curriculum of professional and personal development courses. Airmen and civilians who enroll in Dragon University will progress through four tiers - Wingman, Leader, Warrior and Mentor.
 
Upon completion of each level, attendees will receive recognition from base leadership and be able to wear specialized morale patches on Fridays to show off their achievements.
 
“We're excited to see the team wearing their patches, and even more excited to make sure they receive credit for all the hard work they’re putting into the programs to lead and mentor Airmen & Guardians,” said Col. James Kafer, 81st Training Wing vice commander.
 
The courses themselves range from hour-long sessions to day-long seminars held at the Professional Development Center. For those who work alternative schedules, Dragon University is also empowering facilitators within each unit to bring content directly there.
 
“The good thing about the program’s structure is that it’s flexible,” said Chief Master Sgt. Lance Power, 81st Mission Support Group senior enlisted leader. “There could be a facilitator in your unit who could put a course on during a night shift, and that can be great for you.”
 
The program has developed new ways of teaching and disseminating information, recognizing that a modern force needs modern methods.
 
“With Dragon University, we've revamped all the curriculum, we have brand new facilitators, slides and updated information,” said Talley. “We hope our Airmen and civilians give Dragon University a chance to change their mind about professional and personal development.”
 
Overall, the program aims to push Airmen, Guardians and civilians out of their comfort zone and help them become the next generation of leaders.
 
“If it's about one thing, it's about helping Airmen discover their fire within,” said Power. “Everyone has the capability. We just want to help them reach it.”
 
To sign up for classes, download the Air Force Connect app and select Keesler to find the Dragon University tile.
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