OSI seminar provides tools SNCOs can use

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • AFOSI Public Affairs

For newly minted Air Force Office of Special Investigations master sergeants, the transition to senior non-commissioned officer is made more effective thanks to the command’s annual Senior NCO Professional Development Seminar.


The PDS, also known as a Professional Enhancement Course according to Air Force Instruction, is designed to provide newly selected E-7/Master Sergeants with an in-depth view of their increased supervisory, leadership and managerial responsibilities. 


The 2016 edition, Aug. 16-20, was conducted at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland, Texas, and for good reason.


“One of the biggest reasons is attendees were brought back to their roots to recall the sound of revile, retreat, the sights and sounds of Basic Military Training, flights of Airmen marching, calling cadence or running in formation,” said Senior Master Sgt. Juan Arispe, AFOSI First Sergeant.


Arispe headed the Headquarters-level PDS Team created on behalf of the AFOSI Command Chief and working with the 3rd Field Investigations Squadron, Medina Annex-Lackland, to assist with the event logistics for the 69 attendees, five PDS staffers, five OSI guest leaders and 16 chiefs.


The PDS lesson instructors were all AFOSI Chief Master Sergeants.


“That was awesome because all attendees saw their Region Chief and got a chance to ask one-on-one questions during lessons, break, break-out sessions and evening events,” Arispe said. “One of the biggest positive feedback points we received was access to the top enlisted leaders in AFOSI.”


The curriculum included: leadership concepts, the enlisted evaluation system, force distribution, the stratification of the military professional, a writing evaluation primer, an E-7/E-8 evaluation board process, a manpower and assignments process, the enlisted force structure, the developmental team process, ethics, standards and discipline, OSI history, a chiefs panel and a legends panel.


The Legends Panel sported seasoned OSI leadership: Mr. Tom Olive, Mr. Ray Carter, Mr. Richard Abboud, Mr. Ken Sallinger and Mr. Howard Cary who held a no-holds-barred question and answer session with attendees.  


Special guest speaker was Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force #5 Robert D. Gaylor.


“He’s truly an exceptional and inspiring speaker, “Arispe said. “When he closed I handed him an oversized check for $400. The OSI Chief’s group donated $200 and the headquarters Top -3 Council donated $200. The money went to the Airman’s Heritage Foundation at Lackland on behalf of Chief Gaylor.”


AFOSI command Chief Master Sgt. Christopher VanBurger then announced to CMSAF#5 Gaylor he had been


The spirit of giving back continued with a volunteer night benefitting two Alamo City institutions.


Led by 2015 OSI PDS attendees and current OSI headquarters members Master Sgts. Mary Holycross and Kassandra Tindal respectively, the San Antonio Food Bank and Lackland Fisher House are better off today.


Team Holycross (approximately 30 PDS volunteers) packed, loaded and transported 20,763 pounds of food to the San Antonio Food Bank Warehouse to be weighed and shipped out. The food equated to approximately 16,779 meals for local needy families.


“Our group was highly motivated and understood why we were there,” Holycross said. “The Food Bank coordinator, Mabel Aguirre, said it wasn’t until she started volunteering at the Food Bank herself that she realized people like us (volunteers) are willing to take time out of their personal livers to help others.”


Meanwhile, Team Tindal (another 30 PDS volunteers) helped the Lackland Fisher House raise more than $9,000 from their annual fundraising golf tournament by packaging over 100 gift bags and pamphlets and loading vehicles for transport. The team also sanitized more than 500 children’s toys, cleaned every dish, floor, countertop and book shelf to ensure the common areas were ready for families staying at the Fisher House. Plus, the Team rid the cabinets, pantries, refrigerators and storage areas of expired food.   


“The Fisher House staff commented that OSI saved them more than two weeks of work, countless man hours, and they look forward to our volunteer help every year,” Tindal said. “It’s heartwarming to know our efforts ensure those staying at the Fisher House can focus on their recovery and well-being in a sanitized and safe environment away from home.”


On the seminar’s final day all PDS participants went “back to their roots” by visiting the Pfingston Reception Center, viewing the BMT graduation from reserved seats in the stands, touring three squadron dormitories and eating in the BMT dining facility.


“Nearly all our attendees said that day was a rewarding experience,” Arispe said. “Coming back to where their career began brought back core Air Force memories.”