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Misawa hosts inaugural First Term Officer’s Course

U.S. Air Force Capt. Erin Candella, left, a 35th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy inpatient element chief, and Capt. Lea Hyman, right, a 35th Surgical Operations Squadron nurse anesthetist, participated in a group mentoring session during the Field Grade Officer’s panel during the First Term Officers Course at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 19, 2021. The course helped officers network with each other and show what will be expected of them in their Air Force careers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joao Marcus Costa)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Erin Candella, left, a 35th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy inpatient element chief, and Capt. Lea Hyman, right, a 35th Surgical Operations Squadron nurse anesthetist, participated in a group mentoring session during the Field Grade Officer’s panel during the First Term Officers Course at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 19, 2021. The course helped officers network with each other and show what will be expected of them in their Air Force careers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joao Marcus Costa)

U.S. Air Force Company Grade Officers who attended the First Term Officers Course finished the course with a panel of Majors answering questions about their experiences as officers at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 19, 2021. The three-day course taught the officers what the Air Force expects of them and provided them the opportunity to network with each other and experienced military members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joao Marcus Costa)

U.S. Air Force Company Grade Officers who attended the First Term Officers Course finished the course with a panel of Majors answering questions about their experiences as officers at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 19, 2021. The three-day course taught the officers what the Air Force expects of them and provided them the opportunity to network with each other and experienced military members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joao Marcus Costa)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jordan Siefkes, the 35th Contracting Squadron commander, answers a question during the Field Grade Officer’s panel as a final wrap up for the First Term Officers Course at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 19, 2021. Eleven Company Grade Officers took the course that taught them how to check the Air Force portal, what resources the base has for them and their Airmen, how to manage their career plans and allowed them to network with seasoned experienced Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joao Marcus Costa)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Jordan Siefkes, the 35th Contracting Squadron commander, answers a question during the Field Grade Officer’s panel as a final wrap up for the First Term Officers Course at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 19, 2021. Eleven Company Grade Officers took the course that taught them how to check the Air Force portal, what resources the base has for them and their Airmen, how to manage their career plans and allowed them to network with seasoned experienced Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joao Marcus Costa)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Joede Stonebraker, a 35th Surgical Operations Squadron clinical nurse, asks the panel of Majors a question on leadership during the last seminar of the First Term Officers Course (FTOC) at Misawa AB, Japan, Feb. 19, 2021. The conclusion of FTOC gave the attendees an opportunity to ask questions and receive guidance and mentoring from a panel of Field Grade Officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joao Marcus Costa)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Joede Stonebraker, a 35th Surgical Operations Squadron clinical nurse, asks the panel of Majors a question on leadership during the last seminar of the First Term Officers Course (FTOC) at Misawa AB, Japan, Feb. 19, 2021. The conclusion of FTOC gave the attendees an opportunity to ask questions and receive guidance and mentoring from a panel of Field Grade Officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joao Marcus Costa)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

The 35th Force Support Squadron Professional Development Section hosted their test run of the First Term Officers Course (FTOC) at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Feb. 19.

Held in the same place as the First Term Airmen Course, FTOC also shares a similar goal of setting up Company Grade Officers (CGO) arriving at their first duty station on a path to success as they transition from a training environment to a more flexible mission-oriented one.

Like all personnel, new officers are required to meet training standards to support the execution of their assigned duties; however, being new to military life offers unique challenges and information gaps that aren’t always accounted for in training. The goal of FTOC is to bridge that gap. It gives first term officers the resources they might need in the future to solve issues that might not be related to their career field allowing them to be more equipped to handle situations that arise.

“We never have a formal class. People just say, ‘Oh, go on myPers and find it.’ What's ‘myPers,’ you know?” asked Capt. Lea Hyman, a 35th Surgical Operations Squadron, nurse anesthetist. “The biggest thing was learning about all the resources and services offered here. In addition to that, we actually navigated through all the different websites, like myPers, and where to find my paycheck, simple things that I didn't know before.”

Master Sgt. Amir Mustafa, the 35th Force Support Squadron, career assistance advisor, developed this course after he saw a need for one central class that covered all the basics for first-term officers.

“The course was built based on feedback,” said Mustafa. “We have the Wild Weasel University, and different courses that we offer, but pulling everything together into one course for the company grade officers to attend makes it easier.”

Over three days, the course has various senior noncommissioned officers teach seminars to the officers, including “How to Spend Air Force Money,” “An Introduction to the CGO Council,” and “Effective Air Force Communication and Bullet Writing.”

“Other than the baseline requirements that we offer here, we also introduce mentors to them,” said Mustafa. “I was very deliberate in picking the senior NCOs who were attending the course and a part of the panel because I wanted to make sure that the company grade officers are able to reach out to them.”

Mustafa hopes to have FTOC twice a year or once a quarter. This course is due to return if the officers who volunteered for it give good feedback and show improvement.

“Have all your questions ready,” advised Hyman to all future officers taking the course. “It’s helpful. A lot of us had the same issues. We then shared information and that just increases the network between us. It’s comforting having all first timers because we're all kind of in the same boat.”