RCAF senior non-commissioned officers shine on USAF leadership course

News Article / May 17, 2019

By Chief Warrant Officer A. Geoff Rusconi

Three members of the Royal Canadian Air Force were among the students of Advanced Leadership Experience (ALE) Class 19-C who began their five-week course at the United States Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (SNCOA) in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 13, 2019.

The class prepares senior non-commissioned officers for increased leadership responsibility in the joint, combined, and interagency operating and strategic environment, and is delivered in three phases. In Phase I, students receive information on the SNCOA purpose, policies, procedures and requirements. Phase II consists of six modules, each building on the last, beginning with “Self-Awareness” and ending with “Strategic Planning”. Phase III is the capstone, during which students must capture and communicate how their SNCOA experience enhances effectiveness.

After a week-long preparatory course, Master Warrant Officers Stephen Bates, Lynn McFadden-Davies and Robert Peldjak of the RCAF joined their class of 302 students comprising members of the USAF Active Duty, Air National Guard, and Reserve, and the United States Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.

All three RCAF members performed extremely well, finishing in the top third of their class, and having a significant impact on both staff and students during Class 19-C. Master Warrant Officer Stephen Bates and Master Warrant Officer Robert Peldjak earned Distinguished Graduate (DG) Awards. In order to earn the DG status, students must not only have outstanding academic results, but must also receive high peer ratings. For this reason, only ten per cent of the class achieve DG status.

Master Warrant Officer Peldjak also received the second-highest award given at the SNCOA: the Bobby G. Renfroe Commandant Award, named after the first enlisted commandant of a senior service school. Only four of the 302 students were nominated for this award, and the recipient is determined through an interview with a SNCOA leadership panel. Master Warrant Officer Peldjak not only earned the Commandant Award, but also was nominated for the highest award given, the Levitow Award, named after Medal of Honor recipient John L. Levitow. Again, he was one of only four students nominated for this award, and had to interview with a SNCOA leadership panel. His is truly a remarkable achievement.

All three of these students rose to the top of Class 19-C, and did a wonderful job representing and demonstrating the quality, capabilities and professionalism of Royal Canadian Air Force personnel to our coalition partners.

Chief Warrant Officer A. Geoff Rusconi serves as both Royal Canadian Air Force Liaison and Instructor at the USAF Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy.

Air Force Achievement Medal

Additionally, Chief Warrant Officer (then Master Warrant Officer) A. Geoff Rusconi, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force who is serving on an exchange posting at the SNCOA, was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal for his accomplishments during the period from November 26, 2018 to December 21, 2018.

The Medal Certificate reads:


This is to certify

that the Air Force Achievement Medal

has been awarded to

Master Warrant Officer Geoff Rusconi


Outstanding Achievement

26 November 2018 to 21 December 2018


Master Warrant Officer Geoff Rusconi distinguished himself by outstanding achievement as Flight Instructor, Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Gunter Annex, Alabama. During this period, Master Warrant Officer Rusconi supported Hurricane Michael recovery efforts by enhancing his skill sets at the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy to support a Noncommissioned Officer Academy Mega Class. This historic transformation required him to qualify on 137-hours of Intermediate Leadership Experience curriculum encompassing 21 in service training hours while simultaneously delivering Advanced Leadership Experience curriculum to 294 senior enlisted leaders. Master Warrant Officer Rusconi’s selfless efforts enabled the delivery of a world-class military education to 283 Technical Sergeants, minimizing mission impact to 80 installations. The distinctive accomplishments of Master Warrant Officer Rusconi reflect credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


James D. Dryanski, Colonel, USAF



Join the RCAF - Dare to be extraordinary

Social Work Officers deliver professional social work services in a military setting to support the morale, efficiency and mental health of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families. Social Work Officers offer clinical social work services similar to community mental health and social services agencies.

As well as the full range of challenges common to Canadian society, CAF members and their families cope with additional stresses associated with frequent moves and separations. These stresses can give rise to social and family circumstances that involve complex social work interventions.

The primary responsibilities of a Social Work Officer are to:

         - Provide clinical intervention services
         - Assist in the resolution of compassionate situations
         - Consult with and advise leaders on the social circumstances encountered by personnel in their units
         - Investigate and report compassionate situations
         - Deliver preventive and rehabilitative programs in the areas of:
                   - Pre- and post-deployment stress
                   - Suicide prevention
                   - Family violence


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