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Photo slideshow: Students interview for EPME awards

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Senior Airman Ryan Campbell interviews with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Campbell was among four Airman Leadership School students competing for the Leadership Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Senior Airman Ryan Campbell interviews with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Campbell was among four Airman Leadership School students competing for the Leadership Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Airman Leadership School nominees for the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center's Leadership Award wait outside the Commandant's office here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center for their interviews. From left, Senior Airman Forrest Leach, Staff Sgt. Michael Minahan and Senior Airman Ryan Campbell. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Airman Leadership School nominees for the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center's Leadership Award wait outside the Commandant's office here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center for their interviews. From left, Senior Airman Forrest Leach, Staff Sgt. Michael Minahan and Senior Airman Ryan Campbell. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Senior Airman Forrest Leach looks out the window in the office of Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Leach was among four Airman Leadership School nominees competing for the Leadership Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Senior Airman Forrest Leach looks out the window in the office of Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Leach was among four Airman Leadership School nominees competing for the Leadership Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Airman Leadership School and NCO Academy award nominees meet with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Airman Leadership School and NCO Academy award nominees meet with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Airman Leadership School nominees for the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center's Leadership Award, Senior Airman Forrest Leach and Staff Sgt. Michael Minahan, talk with a classmate outside the Commandant's Office here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. The Center will announce award winners at their graduation ceremony. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Airman Leadership School nominees for the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center's Leadership Award, Senior Airman Forrest Leach and Staff Sgt. Michael Minahan, talk with a classmate outside the Commandant's Office here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. The Center will announce award winners at their graduation ceremony. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Sabrina Tullock, assistant to the Commandant, smiles and talks with students and staff here Oct. 6, 2014, during student award interviews at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Sabrina Tullock, assistant to the Commandant, smiles and talks with students and staff here Oct. 6, 2014, during student award interviews at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Tech. Sgt. Bryan Johnson and Tech. Sgt. David Ferris talk outside the Commandant's Office here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Both Airmen were attending NCO Academy and they competed for the Commandant's Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Tech. Sgt. Bryan Johnson and Tech. Sgt. David Ferris talk outside the Commandant's Office here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Both Airmen were attending NCO Academy and they competed for the Commandant's Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Tech. Sgt. Terry Hemmitt waits outside the Commandant's Office here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Hemmitt was attending NCO Academy and interviewed for the Commandant's Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jerry Harlan/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Tech. Sgt. Terry Hemmitt waits outside the Commandant's Office here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Hemmitt was attending NCO Academy and interviewed for the Commandant's Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jerry Harlan/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class John Kopp interviews for the Commandant's Award with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Kopp was attending U.S. Air Force NCO Academy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jerry Harlan/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class John Kopp interviews for the Commandant's Award with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Kopp was attending U.S. Air Force NCO Academy. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jerry Harlan/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  - Canadian Sergeant Brian Standing shakes hands with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Standing was attending U.S. Air Force NCO Academy and interviewed for the Commandant Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jerry Harlan/Released)
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MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. - Canadian Sergeant Brian Standing shakes hands with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center here Oct. 6, 2014, at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center. Standing was attending U.S. Air Force NCO Academy and interviewed for the Commandant Award. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jerry Harlan/Released)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- When talking one-on-one with the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center's top enlisted leader here Oct. 6, Leadership Award and Commandant Award nominees preserved their sangfroid and showed their best military bearing.

Four Airman Leadership School students and 4 NCO Academy students interviewed with Chief Master Sgt. Thomas "TK" Stoudt, commandant of the Paul H. Lankford Enlisted PME Center.

The NCO Academy award is named and earned in honor of Chief Lankford, who was the first enlisted Commandant of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy and Leadership School in 1968.

The Airman Leadership School nominees met with the Commandant in the morning. NCO Academy nominees met with him in the afternoon.

Stoudt said talking with the nominees individually is among his favorite events. The nominees waited in a conference room outside his office.

Stoudt greeted each with a handshake at his door. He also showed them the view from his desk overlooking the campus before sitting down, side-by-side, in easy chairs for a talk.

"This is one of the better, if not, the best part of my job," said Stoudt.   "Inevitably, they talk about our instructors and how absolutely gifted and talented they are." 

Lankford Enlisted PME Center selected nominees from the EPME flights using instructor interviews, peer nominations and a point system. The Commandant's interviews helped determine the final selections.

Click here to view the photo slideshow.