Airman Leadership School

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Airman Leadership School (ALS) is a six-week-long United States Air Force program designed to develop Airmen into effective front-line supervisors. It is the first professional military education (PME) that enlisted Air Force members encounter.[1] ALS focuses on developing leadership abilities, the profession of arms, and building effective communication.


Senior airmen with 48 months time in service or those with a promotion line number for Staff sergeant. The member must also have at least six months of retainability from the projected class graduation date before being enrolled.

Awards in ALS

  • Noncommissioned Officer Development Ribbon - Mandatory award and wear upon successful completion of ALS.
  • John Levitow Award - The highest award presented at Airman Leadership School, it is the pinnacle of success in ALS and Enlisted PME. The Levitow award is presented to the student that demonstrated the most outstanding leadership and scholastic qualities. Selection for the Levitow award is based on academic performance and assignment of points by peers and instructors (although it is unclear what weight each category carries in determining winner).
  • Commandant Leadership Award - Presented to the student who has displayed all the characteristics of an effective leader, but is not based at all on academic standings. Two students from each flight in the class are selected by their peers and must meet with the Commandant. The commandant is the final determining factor in who is awarded the honor. This award is unique when considering the peer points, instructor points and board scores needed.
  • Distinguished Graduate Award - Presented to the next (10% of graduates) person with the highest overall average in all graded areas, and demonstrated a high level of leadership skills.
  • Academic Achievement Award - Presented to the student with highest overall average on all academic evaluations.

Supervision without SSgt Promotion

Upon completion of ALS, the graduate receives the ability to write performance reports on subordinates.[1]. This allows the graduate the ability to supervise regardless if he or she currently holds the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Topics Covered

Airman Leadership School covers Combat Leader, Military Professional, Supervisor of Airmen, verbal and written communication, and group dynamics. A majority of the instruction focuses around various Air Force rules and regulations.

See also