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Air Force Reservist graduates from U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Master Sgt. Manuel Zubia, Air Reserve Personnel Center NCO in charge, Program Management, graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy July 6, 2012, at the training center in Petaluma, Calif. While at the CPO Academy he also earned a fitness award. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett)

Master Sgt. Manuel Zubia, Air Reserve Personnel Center program management NCO in charge, graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy July 2, 2012, at the training center in Petaluma, Calif. While at the CPO Academy he also earned a fitness award. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- An Airman from the Air Reserve Personnel Center graduated from the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy July 6, 2012, in Petaluma, Calif.

Master Sgt. Manuel Zubia, ARPC program management in charge, graduated from the joint five-week course June 6. While at the CPO Academy he also earned a fitness award.

The CPO Academy experience teaches leadership, communication and administrative skills. It has been designed to provide students with the knowledge and attitude to make this transition as smoothly and effectively as possible.

"I thought the CPO Academy was enlightening and very educational," said Zubia, who has served three years at ARPC. "I learned a lot about the Coast Guard's demanding mission and how a force of about 40,000 people can meet the daily responsibility of protecting our country's coastline."

Zubia who has served 15.5 years in the Air Force, 12 of which were on active duty, said his best experience was being a part of the team and making Coast Guard friends.

He remembered the most challenging part of the 5-week school was completing the obstacle course, which earned him the fitness award.

"I did my very best every time I was put to the test in the 1.5 mile, 2-mile, 5 and 10-kilometer runs to include push-ups and sit-ups," he added.

Started in 1942 in Petaluma, the large training command provides apprentice level training for seven enlisted career fields as students complete work as individuals and groups, in classrooms and in the field. In addition to Coast Guard, military and civilian employees, the training center also provides training to international students.

Students at the academy receive instruction on the following themes: professionalism, self-awareness, leadership, communications, strategic thinking, education and lifelong learning, health and wellness and community service.

These themes are vital to Zubia because he knows they will have an impact on his career and those he leads in the future.

"Senior NCOs are charged with mentoring, being responsible for the junior enlisted and supporting their leadership. The Coast Guard takes that charge very seriously and I believe we as senior NCOs should make it a priority every day," he said.

The Texas native said it was an invaluable experience to attend the course because it was great to be part of a joint environment team.

"The CPO Academy took me out of my comfort zone numerous times," he added. "I learned a lot about myself, the Coast Guard, their history, heritage, culture, traditions and the daily leadership expectations of a Senior NCO."