Keesler hosts LEAD-a-thon for Education and Empowerment > Air Force Education and Training Command > View Article

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Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. – The 81st Training Pavilion held a LEAD-a-thon, an all-day leadership development seminar, on April 4 at the Bay Breeze Event Center.

event you hosted Dragon University160 military and civilian pilots combined for personal, professional, and leadership development.

Senior leaders from the Second Air Force, the Eighty-first Training Wing and Air Command took the opportunity to share their personal experiences, debunking the myths surrounding those in senior leadership positions and emphasizing the importance of the Human Weapons System.

“We must shatter the myths that every command is perfect, that we don’t make mistakes or have human emotions. We must communicate and be vulnerable,” said Col. Chad Gememenhart, commander of the 81st Mission Support Group. “It takes courage to have uncomfortable conversations, And to be vulnerable, to seek care for yourself and others and to be willing to fail. What I hope to see in the future are courageous leaders across the Air Force and Space who make a positive difference every day.”

The afternoon portion of the LEAD-a-thon consisted of breakout sessions for attendees to learn more about a range of topics including performance nutrition, organization and time management, leading the chain of command and how to prepare for evolving battle.

The event concluded with a ceremony honoring the attendees, many of whom received a Wingman patch from the League of Dragons. The patch symbolizes their achievement of Level 1 of the University of Dragons and the time allotted for professional and personal development.

The leadership left the audience with a final message of empowerment and encouragement.

“In this maze we call life, we constantly run into roadblocks,” said Commander Sgt. Keith Casteel, Chief of Talent Management, Air Force Headquarters. “Without guidance, without guidance, we are all lost. Part of building our human weapon system is knowing our ‘why’, because the human weapon system is our most important capability on the battlefield.”