JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --
For the first time in recorded history, Kish Airman Leadership School on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, will graduate a class consisting of military individuals from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard. The all-service class, Class 19-G, will graduate on Oct. 17, 2019, after completing the five and a half week course that consisted of 192 hours of curriculum.
As the only tri-service military installation throughout the Department of Defense, the Kish ALS leadership reached out to all units on Joint Base MDL and throughout the local area to create the first ever class consisting of all five uniformed services to build a more ready force across the DoD.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chad Gaudiosi, 87th Force Support Squadron Kish ALS instructor, acknowledged that getting a service member from each branch has been difficult but was ecstatic that this class finally occurred.
“Because of the opportunity that we have here on Joint Base MDL, we had the resources to conduct the class,” said Gaudiosi. “Our commandant, [U.S. Air Force] Master Sgt. Jeremy Hill put in a lot of work. He forged these relationships with the different senior NCOs on base to get these people in [and it wasn’t] easy. We’ve tried this multiple times before, but unfortunately, one of the services usually falls out.”
The class survived an early hiccup where one service had to replace a student at the last minute.
“We lost our original sailor that was supposed to be in this class, but luckily we were able to replace them the first day this class started,” said Hill. “We always have individuals wanting to participate but sometimes it’s hard for them to break away from their mission in their unit, but it worked out this time.”
While Hill was determined to have the all-service class, he also found out that this would be the first ever graduating class that would consist of all five military branches in DoD history.
“I started out by asking the question to see if it’s ever been done before. I poked around and called the 87th Air Base Wing historian and the Enlisted Heritage Research Institute at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and no one could give me a definitive answer,” said Hill. “The wing historian finally reached back and said this hasn’t been done since the inception of Joint Base MDL. He did a little more digging and said it hasn’t been done at all.”
After finding out the impact this will have on the military as a whole, Hill and the Kish ALS team were ready to provide the tools necessary for each service member to succeed in their professional and personal lives.
“A lot of the concepts that these individuals will learn are general and broad that they can use anywhere,” said Gaudiosi. “You could apply them to your military and personal lives where a lot of these individuals are sharp and willing to learn. I think it was very beneficial to see how other military branches work in here, and overall they will grasp these leadership philosophies and lessons that we teach them and apply them.”
While ALS provides students the knowledge on how to succeed in their own lives, Hill knows that this will also help them become better mentors for the individuals that will soon be led by the graduates of Class 19-G.
“At Kish ALS, we are growing leaders, no matter the service. We are setting the students up for success and we are trying to do it right,” said Hill. “I think the key thing is to be authentic and set the example. Because at the end of the day, these individuals are going to be leading the next generation.”