Leadership labs provide opportunities for the entire cadet corps (freshmen - seniors) to assemble together once a week for two hours. The Professional Officer Corps (POC), made up of juniors and seniors, performs duties much like that of an operational Air Force Wing. Leadership positions include commander, vice-commander, training officer, logistics officer, and communications officer. Students practice their leadership and management skills by educating, supervising and training the General Military Cadets (freshmen and sophomores). The experience they gain from leadership labs prepares them for active duty in the Air Force, where they will be in entry level management positions after graduating from Southeast.
LEAD (AS 203), a four-week course that occurs the summer before entering the POC program, also allows students to earn experience in survival training, junior officer training, physical training, and first-hand familiarization with the organization and function of an Air Force base. LEAD is held at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. Must be selected for an entry allocation into the Professional Officers Course prior to attending.
Upon completion of GMC requirements, cadets who wish to compete for entry into the last two years of the program (the POC) must do so under the requirements of the POC selection system. This system uses both quantitative and qualitative factors, such as a grade point average, unit commander's evaluation, aptitude test scores, and physical fitness test scores to determine a student's officer potential. This is a competitive selection process – no guarantees for admittance into the POC.
After selection, students must successfully complete a four-week summer LEAD program at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL before enter the POC.
LEAD, in many cases, is a cadet's first exposure to a working Air Force environment and the Aerospace Expeditionary Force (AEF) concept. The program develops military leadership and discipline, and provides Air Force officer familiarization, orientation and motivation. At the same time, the Air Force can evaluate each cadet's potential as an officer and entry into the POC. Field training provides Air Force leadership opportunities, professional development, marksmanship training, team building, physical fitness, and AEF orientation. Lodging, meals, and transportation (from the cadet's home of record or school) are provided at no cost.