Joseph P. Connolly

Joseph P. Connolly

Stripes Korea

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- Master Sergeant Joseph P. Connolly, 731st Air Mobility Squadron passenger services section chief, graduated from the U.S. Marine Corps Staff NCO Academy advanced course, Camp Hansen, Japan, June 13.

The enlisted professional military education course provides Marines and specially selected Airmen with the knowledge and skills necessary to assume leadership roles of greater responsibility.

It is a rare opportunity for Air Force service members to attend sister service PME academies, but Connolly, with guidance and direction from his mentor, Senior Master Sgt. Jackie L. Phillips, submitted his nomination package, and was eventually selected through the office of the chief master sergeant of the Air Force, to attend the challenging course.

Connolly attended the seven-week course with 18 Marine Corps gunnery sergeants and six Airmen.

The main focuses of the course were warfighting, leadership, combat conditioning and administrative correspondence.

"This was an outstanding opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself in a diverse and joint environment," Connolly said.

Whether he was competing in physical training sessions or the academic environment, Connolly rose to the challenge and was able to achieve "first class" ratings on both the physical fitness test and the combat fitness test, and achieve an overall grade point average of 97.65 for his coursework.

A written report from the senior NCO academy director to the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing commander addressed Connolly's great contributions to the classroom environment and outlined his keen ability to remind his fellow classmates that leadership is not bound by the color or pattern of a uniform, but by an individual's actions as a leader.

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