NEW LONDON, N.C. – Master Sgts. Daniel Judd and Kernice Locklear, 263rd Combat Communications Squadron, North Carolina Air National Guard, were formally recognized Jan. 12 for graduating from the United States Marine Corps Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Academy.
"We talk about lining ourselves up with our sister services and joint efforts to make sure we accomplish our mission; these two individuals have done just that," said Brig. Gen. Stephen Mallette, assistant adjutant general for air.
The seven-week course in Quantico, Virginia, teaches Marine Corps operations, warfighting, tactics, leadership skills, planning and command and control. Physical fitness, which Judd and Locklear excelled at, was also a central component of the training.
"I thought it would be interesting to go," Judd said. "The curriculum is about the same, but they go deeper into battle scenarios, maps, strategy and the history and tradition of their units."
Judd and Locklear applied through the Enlisted Development Opportunity paneling process. Sister service academies like the United States Marine Corps Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Academy provide a joint learning environment.
"When I came back I briefed my unit on what I learned," Judd said. "So now they've started a history brief every drill where someone comes up and gives some background or history on the unit during our roll call."
The academy had other qualities Judd enjoyed and has implemented in his unit.
"They (Marine Corps) push command down to the lowest level. I've tried to do that here since attending the course, and it's a bit of a rocky road because of the Air Force culture, but I want to start that in our section," he said. "I feel when I gave my briefing about the course, the leadership heard me, and they're maybe trying to implement these changes in the background."
Judd said he recommends the program for anyone.
"It's really an eye-opener to be able to see another service's way of doing things," he said. "I'm very glad they allow us to do that."