AFSOUTH JA officers selected for coveted PME slots Published Dec. 5, 2013 By Staff Sgt. Heather Redman 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. -- Three legal officers from 12th Air Force were selected to attend the Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education for Professional Military Education (PME). Professional Military Education is an integral part of an officer's military career, and it is this training that molds an officer into a leader. Officer PME teaches management and leadership skills at every level of the officer's career. Each PME program is designed to build upon the previous PME course and is tailored to the rank and level of responsibility of the officer, focusing on the skills they need at that stage of their military career. With a limited number of attendees who are permitted to attend courses at professional military education schools, competition between members in each career field is stiff. Col. Thomas Couture, 12th AF (AFSOUTH) staff judge advocate, said "In the JA career field there are only five slots available for PME. It's a competition within the career field to see who will get chosen." Out of the five PME slots available to the Air Force Judge Advocate Corps, three members of the 12th AF judge advocate career field have been chosen. Lt. Col. Patrick Dolan, 7th Bomb Wing staff judge advocate, assigned to Dyess AFB, Texas, was selected to attend Air War College. Air War College is the Air Force's senior professional military education (PME) school for officers. Each year over 250 colonels and lieutenant colonels attend Air War College from the Air Force and other U.S. military services, equivalent grade civilians, as well as government employees from 45 other nations. It is the senior Air Force professional military school and it focuses on emphasizing the employment of airpower in joint operations. Maj. Gregory Thompson, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) judge advocate, assigned to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., was selected to attend Air Command and Staff College. Maj. Christopher Baker, 28th Bomb Wing judge advocate, assigned to Ellsworth AFB, S.D., was selected to attend Air Command and Staff College. Air Command and Staff College is the Air Force's intermediate level officer PME. Each year it has over 600 majors and major-equivalent civilians from the Air Force, other U.S. services, U.S. government agencies, and over 70 other nations. The program is designed to evolve its students from tactical experts in their career field into operational-level leaders. For more information on the officer PME system and admission process, please visit http://www.au.af.mil/au/index.asp. Editor's Note: 1st Lt. Yasemin Randall, 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs, contributed to this story.