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EPME instructors bring professional writing to Nashville

Tech. Sgt. Aaron D. Brentwood, an enlisted professional military education instructor, teaches a writing class to Airmen from the 118th Wing on Oct. 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn. Brentwood was one of two instructors to come over from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base to teach a class on professional writing. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Anthony Agosti/Released)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron D. Brentwood, an enlisted professional military education instructor, teaches a writing class to Airmen from the 118th Wing on Oct. 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn. Brentwood was one of two instructors to come over from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base to teach a class on professional writing. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Anthony Agosti/Released)

Airmen from the 118th Wing participate in a professional writing class on Oct. 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn. Two visiting enlisted professional military education instructors taught the class on how to improve their effective writing skills. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Anthony Agosti/Released)

Airmen from the 118th Wing participate in a professional writing class on Oct. 1, 2016 in Nashville, Tenn. Two visiting enlisted professional military education instructors taught the class on how to improve their effective writing skills. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Anthony Agosti/Released)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A professional writing class, the first of its kind taught in the Air National Guard, descended upon Berry Field Air National Guard Base on Oct. 1 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The class, which covered professional writing situations, supervisory writing skills, and the overall effectiveness of writing, was brought here to help Airmen of the 118th in writing enlisted performance reports, officer performance reports, and packages.

"When it comes to EPRs and work packages, it's new for the Air National Guard," said Master Sgt. Shane M. Hurd, an enlisted professional military education instructor and one of the class teachers from the Air National Guard's I.G. Brown Training and Education Center at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Knoxville, Tennessee. "Where the active duty has been doing this for years, the Guard is just getting into it; it's a whole new world for the Guard when it comes to the impact EPR and other professional writing formats can have on Airmen."

Hurd and the other enlisted professional military education instructor in the class from McGhee Tyson, Tech. Sgt. Aaron D. Brentwood, were invited by the 118th Wing's Command Chief, Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin M. Williams and 1st Sgt., Senior Master Sgt. Michael W. Parson to teach the class as a way to address common writing problems.

"They were on a board looking at awards packages, etc. and were coming across a lot of issues like poorly written bullets and poorly written statements that just weren't effective," said Hurd. "Instead of trying to locally develop a solution, they made the connection that they had McGhee Tyson right in their backyard here, so why not reach out to the training and education center and see what we could do about it?"

Thirty-one Airmen, ranking from airman first class to colonel, from across the 118th Wing, attended this initial class to improve their writing skills.

"The class was very helpful; the exercises were very good," said Master Sgt. Chris from the 118th Wing. "Usually when I'm writing I have a template, but this class forced us to think on our own."

"This class was great for the Wing," said Staff Sgt. Lakissicy K. Thomas, administrative support personnel for the 118th Mission Support Group. "People who become managers who don't have experience writing need this class."

The instructors witnessed a lot of positive development in the class and believe it will help with Airmen growth in the future.

"The interest that has already been shown, the attentiveness, you can tell they're actually valuing the information they're receiving," said Hurd. "I can appreciate the impact it can have on the Guard as a whole."

"I think the class is really successful just from what I have seen so far," said Brentwood. "It's going to help facilitate some opportunities for noncommissioned officers to have mentoring opportunities to other people."

Despite the fact the class only recently concluded, it has already drawn interest from across the Air National Guard about where future classes will be held.

"We have already seen interest from the Georgia command chief master sergeant as well as the Puerto Rico command chief master sergeant," said Hurd. "If we can't do it annually in one location, we might be able to go to different units throughout the year; the ceiling is really open right now to the possibilities."

As the class is now being wanted by units across the country, the discussion now becomes how often the class will be held at Berry Field.

"I know 1st Sgt. Parson was hoping for at least an annual occurrence," said Hurd. "It really depends on the timing of the training and education center's schedule, as well as the Guard's schedule; really from here it could go in any direction."