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Part five -- MTLs
 
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Military training leaders
Tech. Sgt. Willard Mitchell, 338th Training Squadron military training leader, marches a flight of students toward the Triangle at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss, 2011. While the duties of an individual MTL vary greatly depending on the needs of their squadron, their essential mission is to mentor and care for Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
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There's no AFSC for that?
Part five -- MTLs


Posted 4/25/2012   Updated 4/25/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Heather Heiney
81st Training Wing Public Affairs


4/25/2012 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a series about people at Keesler in special duty positions outside of their primary Air Force specialty code.

If a randomly selected group of Airmen were standing in a row, perhaps poised for an inspection, and one was a military training leader, the MTL would immediately stand out. Not only because the deep-blue rope on his or her shoulder draws the eye in a sea of sage green, but because they are expected to represent the precise execution of standards and discipline.
They have to radiate military customs and courtesies, dress and appearance, physical fitness and the core values so that the new Airmen under their care can absorb the characteristics necessary to be successful in the operational Air Force.

"When I began to see a decline in military bearing and customs and courtesies at my last base, I decided that instead of looking the other way at a growing problem, I would become part of the solution," said Staff Sgt. Victoria Brady, 334th Training Squadron MTL. "I wanted to get back to military basics and instill pride and professionalism in our newest Airmen."

While the duties of an individual MTL vary greatly depending on the needs of their squadron, their essential mission is to mentor and care for Airmen. Some specific tasks include marching Airmen to and from class; conducting physical training, open ranks and room inspections; organizing and participating in retreat and parade ceremonies; advising and counseling Airmen; planning, organizing, and directing military education; ensuring maintenance of military standards; preparing and maintaining records pertinent to military education and counseling matters; and supervising subordinate MTL personnel.

"One of my main responsibilities as a night MTL is to give briefings to the Airmen on transitioning up, recruiters assistance program, charge of quarters and out-processing," Brady said. "Much of my time after that is dealing with questions from the Airmen about the military, personal problems, and mentoring in general."

Staff Sgt. Shaundarius Martin, 336th TRS MTL said in a typical week he picks up new Airman that arrive from basic military training, in-process them to their squadron, gives briefings, gets the new Airmen ready for class, marches them to and from school, takes accountability, performs open ranks, prepares for next week's airman to arrive by issuing rooms, keys, sheets and other necessary items; leads PT, fills out paperwork, reads emails, assists other MTL's, and performs lunch point.

"Now with all that being said, all it takes is one phone call and that schedule goes out the window," Martin said.

"We are very busy as MTLs and much of our time is spent doing administrative work. It is a definite challenge to complete everything on the administrative side along with spending time with the Airmen, but we always make it work," Brady said.

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Schumann, 335th TRS MTL said that his position calls for him to be a facility manager and take care of the Airmen who are in limbo waiting for their class to start or waiting to leave for their first permanent duty station.

"I don't think there is an average day as an MTL," Schumann said. "I like the sporadic environment even when I get frustrated with it."

Schumann also said that if nothing else, he wants the Airmen to learn what's necessary to succeed in the Air Force and get involved in their communities.

"I want them to get out there and be awesome Airmen and learn that they won't achieve greatness by flying under the radar," Schumann said. "I don't have a quota to fill, I just have an opportunity to mentor and guide them."

Martin said he thinks it's important for the pipeline airmen to have the guidance of not only MTL's but everyone they come into contact with on the base.

"When they are in our squadrons we do guide them but, it's the unspoken actions of everyone around them that speaks volumes," Martin said.

To become an MTL, one must be a senior Airman or above, submit an application for the special duty position including a photo and their past enlisted performance reports, have 48-months time on station and attend a two-week course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

"To be an effective MTL, you have to want to make a difference in people's lives, to be dedicated to the mission of sending effective Airmen out to the operational Air Force," Brady said. "If you don't have a passion for the job, it's difficult to be effective."

"I want them to know this is a career, this is defending a nation and not just a 9-to-5 job," Schumann said.



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