Aim higher! IDE and SDE--growing future Air Force leaders.EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS OPERATE AT THREE DISTINCT, BUT INTERRELATED in·ter·re·late
tr. & intr.v. in·ter·re·lat·ed, in·ter·re·lat·ing, in·ter·re·lates
To place in or come into mutual relationship.
in LEVELS: TACTICAL, OPERATIONAL AND STRATEGIC. AT THE TACTICAL LEVEL PERSONAL LEADERSHIP IS MOST IMPORTANT, WHILE AT THE OPERATIONAL LEVEL EFFECTIVE LEADERS MUST TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE INTERPERSONAL DYNAMICS OF TEAMS. THE STRATEGIC LEVEL INVOLVES "LEADING THE INSTITUTION," OR MORE SIMPLY, SEEING THE BIG-PICTURE. TO MOVE BEYOND TACTICAL TO OPERATIONAL AND STRATEGIC LEVELS, MEMBERS NEED ADVANCED TRAINING; SUCH GROWTH REQUIRES MORE THAN NEW SKILLS, IT REQUIRES THE ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES. THIS IS WHERE DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION ENTERS THE SCENE.
AS FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT (FM) PROFESSIONALS, we are keenly aware of how important it is to seek advanced education and certifications in our areas of expertise. As Air Force FM members, we have access to numerous programs to help increase our functional expertise, ranging from local American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC ASMC American Suzuki Motor Corporation
ASMC American Society of Military Comptrollers
ASMC Association of Sales & Marketing Companies
ASMC Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference
ASMC Area Support Medical Company
ASMC American Small Manufacturers Coalition ) and Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis (SCEA SCEA Sony Computer Entertainment America
SCEA Sun Certified Enterprise Architect
SCEA South Carolina Education Association
SCEA Silicon Valley Chinese Engineers Association
SCEA Society of Cost Estimating and Analysis
SCEA Southeast Center for Education in the Arts ) offerings, to Air Force Institute of Technology The Naval Postgraduate School serves a similar purpose for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The U.S. Army does not have a comparable school; Army officers study at the Naval Postgraduate School or AFIT. (AFIT AFIT Air Force Institute of Technology
AFIT Armed Forces Institute of Transfusion (Rawalpindi, Pakistan)
AFIT Arizona Forum for the Improvement of Taxation ) and Syracuse University Masters programs, to SAF/FMC's Economics PhD program. Both FMSOC FMSOC Financial Management Staff Officer Course (USAF) and DFM&CS offer continuing education to mid and senior level FM professionals. These programs teach financial management technical skills to better accomplish the mission and earn professional certifications.
Given the wide range of occupational opportunities for study it is important to not lose sight of leadership learning opportunities. Intermediate and senior professional education focuses on preparing individuals to be leaders. This philosophy has its roots in Air Force's dual track doctrine, which seeks to develop not only OCCUPATIONAL SKILL SETS, but to also grow INSTITUTIONAL LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES.
Historically, the Air Force community may have viewed Intermediate and Senior Developmental Education (IDE and SDE SDE - Software Development Environment: equivalent to SEE. ) courses as military opportunities. From the grade of Captain forward, officers have long recognized these courses as key discriminators for future job opportunities and promotion, and the need to complete them is ingrained in the Air Force culture. Today, FM's officers and civilians are jointly managed through the FM Development Team (DT). The Air Force identifies IDE and SDE as an important component of both military and civilian Force Development and the FM DT considers IDE and SDE completion important in the development of both military and civilian leaders. Illustrated in Figure 1, the Air Force Career Pyramids and the FM Force Development Roadmaps establish IDE and SDE as key developmental milestones that must be accomplished along the way to higher levels of responsibility.
INTERMEDIATE DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION
IDE is primarily concerned with teaching students about the operational level of leadership. While it includes some discrete skills courses, it aims at training students to think at the operational level. There are a number of different programs available including full time graduate-level education and distance learning courses, with placement depending on individuals' career tracks and the needs of the Air Force. Distance learning (via correspondence or seminar program) is available to all who meet grade and pre-requisite education criteria, and should be accomplished as early as possible. For military officers, a good rule of thumb is to complete IDE via distance learning within one year of pinning on Major, while civilians should complete their studies as quickly as possible after meeting the PB2/GS-11 eligibility requirement for enrollment.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
In-resident IDE attendance is limited, and only offered to the highest potential candidates in the career field. Selection criteria for in-resident programs vary but are based primarily upon qualifications and vectoring by the FM DT. When ranking candidates for selection to in-resident IDE and SDE, the FM DT considers the total person record including job performance appraisals, depth and breadth of experience, education and training, professional certifications, special achievements and awards, and comments from supervisors and references. The philosophy guiding IDE and SDE in-resident selection is to match qualified candidates to the programs best suited to their future development as leaders. Therefore, many different programs are available ranging from the airpower-focused Air Command and Staff College The Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) is located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama and is the United States Air Force's intermediate professional military education (PME) school. , to more technical programs that can lead to a degree in FM or business management related fields, with additional leadership coursework included. A civilian IDE candidate could potentially serve as an Air Force Legislative Fellow, attend Harvard or Princeton to earn a Master's degree in Public Administration or Policy, earn a degree through a civilian institution, or be selected for the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP ELDP Executive Leadership Development Program
ELDP Engineering Leadership Development Program
eLDP Electronic Loan Deficiency Payments (USDA)
ELDP Every Day Low Pricing ) offered by the Department of Defense. The purpose of the ELDP is to expose participants to the roles and mission of DoD through "hands-on" field experience. The ten-month program takes participants to locations in the United States and overseas to provide experiential learning opportunities and build appreciation and understanding of the warfigther role. Military officers can seek to attend one of the service staff colleges, earn a Master's degree through the Advanced Academic Degree program, or attend a foreign service IDE school. The opportunities vary from one year to the next and each program has different eligibility requirements. Interested parties should seek the most current information through their chain of command beginning in the autumn prior to the start of the program.
SENIOR DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION
SDE prepares students to be future Air Force senior leaders. Teaching students to think at the strategic level is central to all SDE programs. Military officers should aim to complete Air War College distance learning within a year of pinning on Lieutenant Colonel, and civilians GS-13 and above should consider enrolling in the distance learning program via correspondence or seminar as outlined in the FM Civilian Force Development Roadmap.
In-resident attendance, like IDE, is highly competitive and is determined by the FM DT selection process. Programs include the service and National War Colleges, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces The Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) is a U.S. military educational institution tasked with preparing military officers and civilian government officials for leadership and executive positions in the field of national security. , study programs at America's top universities like Stanford, MIT MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Harvard, and Princeton, and fellowships with RAND and other federal government departments. Military members also have the opportunity to attend foreign War Colleges and international think tanks.
Through IDE and SDE, the Air Force offers motivated individuals unique developmental opportunities that are unparalleled in the private sector. High-potential individuals who are willing to be mobile are eligible for up to 18 months of full-time education, at full salary, paid for by the Air Force. As the FM career field continues to professionalize pro·fes·sion·al·ize
tr.v. pro·fes·sion·al·ized, pro·fes·sion·al·iz·ing, pro·fes·sion·al·iz·es
To make professional.
pro·fes , it is essential that our best and brightest seek opportunities to prepare themselves to meet the challenges of a continuously transforming workplace. Intermediate and Senior Developmental Education, through cutting-edge distance learning and highly-selective in-resident programs, are the foundation upon which our future leaders rise. Meet the challenge and posture yourself for in-resident attendance by signing up for a distance learning program. AIM HIGHER!
About the Author
Lt Col Michael Dahlstrom is Comptroller for the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base Ellsworth Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base near Rapid City, South Dakota and is home to the B-1B Lancer.
The host wing is the 28th Bomb Wing, which includes an operations group, a maintenance directorate, a mission support group, and a medical group. and is slated to take command of the 375th Comptroller Squadron at Scott Air Force Base Scott Air Force Base (IATA: BLV, ICAO: KBLV, FAA LID: BLV) is a base of the United States Air Force in St. Clair County, Illinois near Belleville which are in the St. Louis metropolitan area. in July 2008. Previous assignments include numerous duties in the acquisition career track, culminating in service as the Deputy Affordablity IPT Chief for the Joint Strike Fighter.
SDE OPPORTUNITIES IDE OPPORTUNITIES Air War College (mil/civ) Air Command and Staff College (mil/civ) National War College (mil) Army, Naval and Marine Command and Staff Colleges (mil) Industrial College of the Armed Air Force Internship (mil) Forces (mil/civ) Joint Advanced Warfighting School AF Legislative Fellowship (civ) (mil) Army, Naval and Marine War Foreign Command and Staff Colleges Colleges (mil) (mil) Foreign Defense Colleges (mil) Advanced Academic Degree (civ) Fellowships (mil/civ) Executive Leadership Development (civ) For more information on these program and a full listing of IDE/SDE opportunities visit the AFPC website at http://ask.afpc.randolph.af.mil and search "IDE/SDE."