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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | March 7, 2022

Airman receives Black Belt Certification for innovation efforts

By Airman 1st Class Bridgitte Taylor 316th Wing Public Affairs

Tech. Sgt. Jules Ponton, 316th Force Support Squadron manpower analyst and now a part of the Education with Industry program, was awarded a Black Belt Certification in continuous process improvement on Feb. 16, 2022, here. Less than 300 people in the Air Force have reached that level of training. 


This accomplishment required teamwork, demonstration of team leadership, striving for improvement and efficient outcomes and aligning their organization’s operations to its vision.


“I had the honor and privilege of awarding Ponton with the Department of the Air Force Continuous Process Improvement Black Belt Certification,” said William Gautier, Spark Tank director. “This was not an easy accomplishment as it required application of Black Belt competency-level knowledge to a real problem our Airmen and Guardians face.”


Ponton went on to express his gratitude for his team and the certification he received.


“I am very humbled to have received the Black Belt Certification. It took a lot of mentorship and patience from those who helped me along the way so I would certainly say I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife Samantha Ponton-McAfee, Mr. William Hammerli, AMC Master Process Owner, Mr. Sarantos Tselekis, 316th FSS Manpower and Organization flight chief  and Mr. Otis Solomon, U.S. Air Force Continuous Process Improvement School course director at Air University.”


Ponton started his Green Belt journey in 2019 with a goal to help his community while advancing his skillset.


"I received my Green Belt Certification through the Air Force in 2019 and then attended the 10-day Air Force Continuous Process Improvement Black Belt school in Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, that same year,” said Ponton. “In order to attend the Black Belt Certification course, you have to be Green Belt certified, receive commander endorsement and have a certain level of proficiency in order to successfully complete the course.”