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MacDill Civil Service employee first to graduate NCOA

by Senior Airman Robin Drake
Thunderbolt staff writer

Robert A. De La Rosa, center, a Civil Service employee here, recently graduated from the Non-commissioned Officer Academy.

Courtesy photo

The first Civil-Service employee from MacDill to be selected for attendance at the Non-commissioned Officer Academy, Lackland AFB, Texas, recently graduated.

Robert A. De La Rosa, 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron, procedures and accountability supply technician, graduated from class 05-3 March 31.

Applications were submitted from individuals at various Air Mobility Command bases, but Mr. De La Rosa was the only person selected to attend the course.

"I thought it would be a good opportunity to excel," said Mr. De La Rosa.

The purpose in selecting Civil Service employees for the course is to train those individuals who retain job positions where they supervise military personnel.

The NCOA is a six-week course that encompasses a variety of subject matter. It is a part of the College for Enlisted Professional Military Education.

"We learned a lot on supervisory issues, management techniques, and time and stress management," said Mr. De La Rosa. "Teamwork is a big focus during the course."

In addition to academics, he participated in reveille and retreat, drills, and uniform inspections.

Instead of wearing the specified military uniform for each event, his apparel consisted of business attire.

"Fit to Fight" is not just a phrase familiar to servicemembers in the Air Force. During his training at the NCOA, it became a part of Mr. De La Rosa's vocabulary also.

"We participated in (physical training) three times a week. We did push-ups, sit-ups and the one-and-a-half-mile run. By the end of the course I improved my time in the run by more than a minute and a half," said Mr. De La Rosa.

The instructors at the NCOA and the servicemembers in attendance made him feel welcomed, like he was one of the troops, said Mr. De La Rosa.

"I think it is a good experience for civilians who attend. You get to see the military side and how it all works."

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