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AETC spouses drive course recognition, digital badging efforts

  • Published
  • AETC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Air Education and Training Command leadership spouses’ efforts resulted in the AETC Squadron Leadership Course inclusion in the 2023 Air University catalog and the awarding of digital badges for course completion.

A tiger team led by three of the command’s leadership spouses, Maureen Robinson, spouse of Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson, AETC commander; Vickie Thompson, spouse of Chief Master Sgt. Erik Thompson, AETC command chief, and Cathy Amrhein, spouse of Brig. Gen. Chris Amrhein, acting 19th Air Force commander, worked to guarantee the five-day course met requirements for recognition through Air University, providing attendees with a tangible representation of course completion through badging.

The AETC Squadron Leadership Course #AETCSLC001, held here, prepares inbound AETC squadron commanders, senior enlisted leaders, and their spouses, with the tools and resources for mission success.

The tiger team’s primary goal was to highlight the value that this course offers for the entire command team, especially spouses.

“Spouses are at the heart of military communities, they tackle challenges, act as spokespeople, and take on the role of caretaker for their units,” Robinson said. “The week of presentations and leadership exercises provides spouses with solid instruction to sharpen decision-making, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, as well as networking opportunities to build a strong foundation.

To emphasize the value of this course, the tiger team created a digital badge that formally translates and shares the learned skills into a language that can be easily understood as valuable experience.

“Our military spouses have marketable skills and experiences that make them competitive in the job industry and academia,” Amrhein said. “In the past, it’s been difficult for employers to understand the impact of those skills because they were not listed as past job experience.” She said that spouse leadership training and experience have only been recognized as volunteer time.

When asked about the utility of badging in the modern workforce, Thompson said, “The digital badge highlights the unbounded value of a spouse’s contributions. Our spouses work so hard to be stronger, better and more efficient leaders. We are proud to have a badge sponsored by the major command, verified through Badgr©, and recognized by Air University. Digital credentials empower spouses to take their learning with them wherever they go during their lifelong learning journey and are invaluable when they move with their military spouse.”

The First Command remains focused on developing leaders that produce multi-capable Airmen to win the high-end competition, and we celebrate those servant leaders (military spouses) who contribute selflessly to the mission. Robinson, Thompson and Amrhein have blazed a trail for other MAJCOMs to follow suit in these efforts to increase participation and communicate the value of this course.

For more information on the digital badging process, go to