SFS member earns honors at ALS graduation

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson
  • 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
A Montana Air National Guard Airman attending Satellite Airman Leadership School class 16-6 was awarded two prestigious honors during his graduation June 30, 2016.

Senior Airman Jedidiah Polk received a Distinguished Graduate Award and the Academic Achievement Award during the ceremony held at the Training and Education Center located at McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn.

"It was really rewarding for all the hard work I put in over the prior two months," Polk said. "It was pretty humbling to be able to receive the awards."

Polk's academic standing earned him the Distinguished Graduate Award. His performance evaluations, leadership ability and teamwork scorings placed him in the top ten percent of students in his class. He also was presented the Academic Achievement Award for being the student who achieved the highest academic standing in his class of 130 Airmen.

Satellite ALS was a version of the course that allowed local students to first attend class in a 219th RED HORSE Squadron meeting room located at Malmstrom Air Force Base. Using a satellite uplink, instructors taught from a television studio in the broadcast facility located at McGhee-Tyson to students in several nationwide classroom locations.

Once the satellite portion was completed, students travelled to the campus at McGhee-Tyson to finish nearly three weeks of the residential phase of the course.

Polk enjoyed learning new leadership and management skills during his educational experience. He especially appreciated the in-residence portion of the course.

"I think that was the most effective portion," Polk said. "Because you're down there every day with no distractions from being home. Your main goal is just focusing on your lessons."

Polk said he attended the last satellite ALS class to be offered at McGhee-Tyson. He said future students will now select from the residence or correspondence versions of the course.

Polk, a 120th Security Forces Squadron member, served four years in security forces with the United States Air Force before joining the MTANG in 2015.

The 120th SFS Commander, Maj. Cody Smith, and 120th Airlift Wing Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Steven Lynch, attended his graduation ceremony.

Polk said he appreciates the family atmosphere offered by membership in the Guard.

"I like how it's a tight-knit family and community," Polk said. Everybody's watching out for each other a lot more and they take care of their people really well."