Developing Leaders at Officers' Training School

Officer candidates from the Officers’ Training School test their leadership skills during Exercise Caribou at Dutson Air Weapons Range from 21-25 July.
Trainees from the Officers’ Training School honed their skills as leaders and Officers during Exercise Caribou at Dutson Air Weapon Range, Victoria durig 21 to 25 July.
FLTLT Teresa Carraro, a member of Directing Staff at Officers’ Training School said Exercise Caribou was a leadership assessment exercise and the final field training activity of the 17-week-long Initial Officer Course.
“During Exercise Caribou, each student is given approximately two hours to lead a small team to complete a task,” Flight Lieutenant Carraro said.
“Each task consists of a different scenario and the student lead is required to utilise leadership techniques, emotional intelligence, social and communication skills to achieve the optimal outcome.”
“The Directing Staff assesses how well each student balances the competing needs of the task, the team and the individual, which are often cited as the three most important leadership considerations.”
Flight Lieutenant Carraro said Officers’ Training School provided students with a safe environment to develop their own leadership styles, and empowered the students to make educated decisions based on their assessment of the situation.
“It is important for the students to try and find out what leadership style works for them and what doesn’t. At Officers’ Training School, we allow students to make mistakes and learn from those experiences, so they can take the lessons they learnt to their future Air Force careers,” Flight Lieutenant Carraro said.
“I try to inspire these future Air Force leaders to be the best they can be. I share the experience and knowledge I have gained from my Air Force career with the students and encourage them to develop their own leadership style.”
Pilot Officer James Stear, a newly commissioned Officer said he thoroughly enjoyed the challenges and opportunities Exercise Caribou offered.
“Exercise Caribou exposed us to a series of challenging tasks to test our leadership, influence, self-confidence, initiative, assertiveness and teamwork.”
“The exercise was difficult at times but it provided a great opportunity for us to consolidate the knowledge and skills we picked up from Officer Training.”
“I feel like I came out of the exercise as a more confident and competent leader. I believe Officers’ Training School has prepared me for my future Air Force career and I look forward to the extra challenges and responsibilities my Officer career will bring me.”