Dragon Corner: the significance of a Monday

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexandria Valdez
  • 81st Training Group
Is it safe to say that everyone loves a Friday?

Most do, and what's not to love about Friday? It means it is almost the weekend!

Also, recall that every Friday at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, trainees graduate from basic military training and become Airmen.

What does this signify for Keesler?

It means that three days later, America's children will once again say goodbye to their families and be shipped to their new home, eager to begin their technical training. Every Monday, Keesler is responsible for the retrieval of approximately130 of the newest members to the greatest Air Force in the world.

The Airmen join 1,800 non-prior service Airmen on station who are already in technical training. They arrive between 11 a.m.-12 p.m., after a twelve-hour bus ride. In those twelve hours they can sleep, text, make phone calls and watch movies.

It is also a time for them to reflect on the exhausting eight and a half weeks they just overcame and to think about what's to come.

Their first week at Keesler will be difficult and challenging; however, it'll be the easiest week during their time here.

Upon arrival, a military training leader is given the opportunity to make the first impression of how Keesler operates by being the first to greet the Airmen. An MTL is expected to adhere to the highest order of discipline, display impeccable dress and personal appearance and enforce standards.

At this time the Airmen are in-processed, briefed on rules and expectations and are given a synopsis of what's to come for the remainder of the week. The Airmen are then released to one of four squadron MTLs, depending on their Air Force Specialty Code, where they will receive more briefings.

These squadron MTLs do everything in-processing related; such as accountability, ensuring linens are provided, room assignments, safety briefings, coordinating commanders briefings, collecting paperwork, completing documentation, etc.

Monday evening concludes the paperwork portion of in-processing for these Airmen and they are then taken to the dining facility to ensure they receive a hot meal.

Tuesday morning report time is typically 5 a.m., but times vary slightly between squadrons. At this time, an MTL briefs on every rule and expectation the Airmen need to follow such mandatory items, fall out times, physical training, uniform of the day, They are also introduced to their new chain of command including the first sergeant and squadron commander who clearly defines their roles and responsibilities. The remainder of the week the Airmen continue to be briefed by different agencies across the 81st Training Wing.

What's great is that the Airmen also meet the wing commander and group commander within a few days of arriving on station. The week ends on a Friday where the Airmen get the opportunity to attend "Right Start," which was specifically developed for in-processing Airmen. "Right Start" is similar to a job fair that provides the Airmen with even more information that the base has to offer.

The first week at Keesler can be hectic for an Airman as there is so much information being pushed out to them, but it is necessary in order to ensure the Airman gets everything they need to have a seamless transition from BMT to technical training.

Although in-processing covers only a sliver of the daily tasks of an MTL it is truly an honor and a privilege to be a part of. With that being said, an Airman will always remember their Military Training Instructor. However, our Airmen will also remember the NCOs who have helped play a positive role in their military career during their time in technical training, and it will always begin with the first impression that is set upon them their first Monday!