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335th TRS powers up manpower course

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chance Pugh, Christine Seman and 1st Lt. Krystal Price, 335th Training Squadron manpower apprentice course students, discuss content to brief to the class at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Jan. 23, 2019. Students practice briefing often as it is a main requirement of the career field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Chance Pugh, Christine Seman and 1st Lt. Krystal Price, 335th Training Squadron manpower apprentice course students, discuss content to brief to the class at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Jan. 23, 2019. Students practice briefing often as it is a main requirement of the career field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Meredith Greer, 335th Training Squadron manpower apprentice course student, conducts research for a group project at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Jan. 23, 2019. Group projects are given daily to increase team effort in the classroom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Meredith Greer, 335th Training Squadron manpower apprentice course student, conducts research for a group project at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Jan. 23, 2019. Group projects are given daily to increase team effort in the classroom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kimberly L. Mueller)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

The 335th Training Squadron recently released the new manpower apprentice course.

The improved training course allows students to learn the fundamentals of the manpower career field in a more hands-on environment.

“The career field managers have completely revamped the course,” said Lt. Col. Steven Lipinski, 335th TRS commander. “The course has gotten away from exposing students to endless lectures and expecting them to regurgitate it on a test at the end of the week.”

The career field managers took the lectures and molded them into a mesh of hands-on and active learning. The students are able to gain first-hand experience in a student-centered classroom.

“Going through technical training there were months where it was nothing but slideshows and lectures,” said Tech. Sgt. Aaron Remmert, 335th TRS manpower course student. “Being able to sit down in class and talk about some key components and actually putting them in action is amazing. It’s made learning this new job easier than I could have imagined.”

The instructors incorporate team effort into as many aspects of the course as possible. Every morning the students arrive with a group task on the board to help them absorb the lesson material as a group while building critical thinking skills.

“Students learn to work together in a team environment from day one, playing off each other’s strengths and weakness,” said Master Sgt. Timothy Dull, 335th TRS manpower apprentice and officer course instructor supervisor. “It builds confidence because students are not relying on an instructor primarily to get answers. Students determine the answers and instructors confirm what the student has discovered.”

Through the upgraded course, each student has the opportunity to build the stronger self-reliance and knowledge needed to guide Air Force leaders once they graduate from technical training.

“This course is going to make the apprentices more relevant at their first job while helping decision makers and commanders, the folks who they’re going to be advising early on,” said Lipinski. “Manpower is not something that is understood as well as we want it to be among senior leaders and commanders. It’s a tough thing to wrap your head around so it’s really important to have folks who understand how those processes work and can advise leadership in making good decisions in the manpower realm.”