Weather wing developing leaders with AD360

  • Published
  • By David R. Hopper
  • 557th Weather Wing Public Affairs

A program has been developed in the 557th Weather Wing to bridge the gap in leadership development for the most valuable resource – our Airmen.

It is called Airman Development 360 (AD360). It was developed for wing-level release in late 2020 and officially started in January 2021.

“We developed the AD360 concept at the squadron level for a year before deciding that the framework could be expanded to the wing level,” said Master Sgt. Brett Sydnor, 21st Operational Weather Squadron flight chief. “What we discovered was that the concept and framework developed became more successful as a vast array of talent and experience was added to the program.”

Each squadron provides four individuals to make up their AD360 Team. The teams consist of a company grade officer (CGO), senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO), non-commissioned officer (NCO) and an Airman. The key is to have a variety of representatives to act as development influencers to the unit and to contribute to the program as a whole.

The AD360 program is also open to DOD civilians who would like to learn more about specific subjects being taught throughout the year.

“Due to the geographically separated nature of the wing and the adaption of communication methods learned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned to execute the program through virtual means to a large degree,” Sydnor said. “Squadron AD360 reps will always be able to present materials in person when needed but the online collaboration has added the benefit of diversity of thought across our global enterprise.”

Once teams have been formed in the squadrons, they will establish and run a 12-month schedule of sessions throughout the calendar year. These monthly sessions seek to develop Airmen on a large scale. The more Airmen that are developed, the more can be developed.

Here is an example of how the system has worked. April is when performance feedbacks become a high priority. The AD360 Team schedules a ‘performance feedback session’ to go over the intricacies of performance feedbacks and provides useful material that can be used by members to make them more efficient.

“I think the best part of AD360 is the structure,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jason Ramos, 17th Operational Weather Squadron operations superintendent. “It empowers Airmen in all tiers to have a voice and impact the development of our total force, which in turn will create exceptional leaders now and in the future.”

Announcements for AD360 events are sent out to the wing every month, and the AD360 teams at each squadron serve to advertise and advocate in the lead-up to those events. All of the events that have occurred are recorded and made available on the AD360 page on MilSuite. For more information, contact your squadron AD360 representative.

“Success of AD360 has a lot to do with the amazing support we received from chiefs within the wing and former 17th OWS commander Lt. Col. Sarah Zimmerman,” Ramos said. “So far we are 48 AD360 team members strong across two groups and 12 squadrons. I look forward to seeing our Airmen transformed into leaders through this program.”