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Air University Catalog 

College for Enlisted Professional Military Education  
Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy  
CMSgt Samuel Whalum Jr., Commandant

The Air Force established the Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy in 1972 to fill a void in professional military education for Air Force senior NCOs. In January 1973, the academy began its first class with 120 senior NCOs and a curriculum divided into two major areas: military environment and military management. Presently, the academy has an annual enrollment of over 1,800 senior NCOs, chief petty officers, and international senior NCOs. Offering instruction in four major areas, the academy is the capstone of enlisted PME.

The instruction provided by the Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy (AFSNCOA) makes a positive impact on the careers of its graduates. Eight academy graduates have served as the chief master sergeant of the Air Force--Thomas N. Barnes, James M. McCoy, Arthur L. Andrews, Sam E. Parish, James C. Binnicker, David J. Campanale, Eric Benken, and Frederick J. Finch. Most command chief master sergeants are also academy alumni.

The AFSNCOA strengthens the commitment to the Air Force as a profession of arms; presents an educational program to fulfill Air Force needs; fosters a professional and motivational environment; develops, recognizes, and retains professionals; and satisfies the needs of customers and stakeholders of senior enlisted leaders.

Mission: Expand the leadership capabilities of senior enlisted leaders and reinforce a commitment to the profession of arms through a dedicated and professional team.

Goal: Conduct a quality education program contributing to the professional development and motivation.

Resident Curriculum

The academy's philosophy is that senior enlisted leaders have the need and desire for advanced PME to assist them in fulfilling their expanding leadership and management roles. The senior enlisted PME program is based on sound educational principles with high academic standards. It strives to satisfy student needs with individualized instruction where possible.

Duration and Quota. The academy conducts six 30-academic-day resident classes each year with a student quota of 360 per class.

Prerequisites and Selection. Air Force and selected Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard senior NCOs attend the academy in residence. Selected Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and international military personnel also attend on a limited basis. Active duty Air Force personnel must complete the course before they can be promoted to chief master sergeant.

The Air Force Military Personnel Center identifies and notifies active duty students for attendance. Students must have at least one year of service retainability after graduation. Students must be within weight standards specified in AFI 40-502, The Weight Management Program. Students from other services must meet their service's standards. Complete eligibility and selection criteria can be found online at the Air Force Education and Training Course Announcements (

Academic Credit

The AFSNCOA is affiliated through the College for Enlisted PME to the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), which is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Graduates of the resident course are awarded nine semester hours of undergraduate credit from the CCAF.

Curriculum Summary

Instructional Area Academic Hours
Profession of Arms 69
Communication Skills 38
Leadership and Management 105
Collateral Curriculum 19
Commandant's Time 9

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