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U.S. Air Force Commissioned Officer Training / Phase 02: Development

The Orientation Phase was their
introduction to the Air Force. Very basics of teamwork. And the development phase is them applying those lessons that they’ve learned about teamwork and starting to
slowly become leaders. So the development phase includes something like Project X. And Project X, it’s an obstacle course and there’s about 22 obstacles and what we
do is we’ll break the trainees down into small flights about 14, 15 people in a
flight. And then we put them into these obstacles and then we say “we’re a team, we
expect you to manipulate this obstacle and get through this whole process.” So
they could be given anything from a barrel to boards, rope and they’re
expected to use all the tools that you’ve been given, everything that you’ve
learned in your classrooms, everything that your flight commanders, your
instructors, have been teaching you and now apply those principles. We want them
to attack these scenarios and think as an officer in the United States Air
Force and see what your strengths are, your weaknesses are in this controlled
environment. WELPs are the Wingmen Expeditionary Leadership Problems, is a
specific phase in the training where we allow the trainees to actually step out
and for the first time be a leader of their team. We designate an individual in
their team to be a leader. We take them out to the field and it’s a mock
deployment environment where they’ve got to be able to do some basic land
navigation, they have to provide their team with security, and their leader has
got to be able to take his or her team through this process. We give them a
basic set of instructions and we say “here’s what we expect of you” and then we
evaluate them. If they don’t get feedback they don’t know what their strengths and
weaknesses are and that’s how they grow through this process, we come better
leaders in the Air Force. The Tattoo Ceremony is a symbolic event. It’s a
change of command ceremony and it really is a passing of the guide on from the
staff to the trainees. And from that point forward we say “we’re
gonna slowly step back and we’re gonna expect you to step up, start holding each
other accountable, start making those leadership decisions.” From day one through the end of Training Day 23, we expect them to gradually take
on more and more responsibilities and this is a very symbolic piece of that.

Tony wyaad