Behind the podium at the 338th TRS

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Keesler’s mission is to not only technically train warfighters, but to inspire them.

The instructors within the 81st Training Group serve as teachers and role models for their students, sparking an inspiration to achieve that carries over into the operational Air Force.

Tech. Sgt. Antoine Brown, 338th Training Squadron network systems operations instructor, is an instructor at Keesler. His career field is responsible for the network portion of the base, maintaining the devices that make sure networks are clear and that classified and unclassified communications remain separate.

He uses his eight years of experience to make sure his students understand the importance of their career field in maintaining mission operations.

“I was a senior airman at Tyndall Air Force Base at the time that Hurricane Michael came through. I had to step up into a leadership role to manage a shop and get base communications back up and running so the mission could continue,” said Brown. “You’ve got to be a problem solver outside the box, and I try to prepare them for that.”

Brown shared more of his own words and encourages others to reach a hand back and become technical training instructors.

Q: What inspired you to become an instructor?

A: “I always planned on volunteering and coming back to be an instructor. After working with Airmen who are right out of tech school, I liked the fact that we can come here and shape their minds to make sure they’re starting off on the right foot. I wanted the ability to affect the Air Force’s mission to try and produce the best Airmen we can produce.”

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being an instructor?

A: “The goal is not to just get my students through tech school, right? The goal is for them to learn the actual job. I try to ask them as many questions as I can, because if they learn rather than memorize, they have an understanding behind what they're doing. Then if they're put into a situation that they haven't experienced before, they're more able to adapt to what's going on. I love that part of instructing when you can see the light bulb go off.”

Q: What is the most challenging part of being an instructor?

A: “For me, the most challenging part is that each student is different. You have to try to give each student what they need individually and it's your job as an instructor to adapt to each student. You cannot get stuck in a stationary way of thinking because that won’t produce the best results, and that's not what the Air Force wants or needs.”

Q: What would you say to anyone who is interested in becoming an instructor?

A: “I mean, what more could you ask for? You could get to train the future Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. This is your opportunity to affect change. You get a chance to be the voice and be the change in the Air Force from the technical training perspective.”