Dragon Corner: developing Airmen in and out of TRG

  • Published
  • By Maj. Kevin Bray
  • 334th Training Squadron
Leading, mentoring and developing our Airmen is critical to our success as an Air Force, for one day they will replace us. Team Keesler plays a vital role in developing our nation's Airmen and has done so since the birth of our Air Force. Having spent a career in garrison and deployed within the command and control community, I have been surrounded by integrity, service and excellence in action on a daily basis. I've been amazed by our young Airmen controlling air traffic and directing air-to-ground and ground-to-ground fires in the most complex and congested civil-military airspace in the world.

The longer I've continued to serve and the more I've been privileged to learn, my amazement goes well beyond command and control. I'm in awe of ordinary Airmen from every career field doing extraordinary things. From controlling the skies over Baghdad to leading convoys through Southern Helmand Province in Afghanistan, our personnel from every career field share the common foundation of Airmanship.

Along with the specialty skills we teach here at Keesler, we all teach Airmanship through modeling our core values on a daily basis. Whether we instruct classes, provide military training or run the base, we all influence and mold these Airmen who will replace us.
Small interactions outside of the Triangle can have a profound impact on developing our Airmen. The sharp medical technician and security forces patrol who interact with a technical training Airmen are models for behavior congruent with our core values and reinforce the lessons they have learned from Day 1 in basic training and here, in technical training. While focused on our functional missions, we must always keep in mind that we have thousands of young impressionable minds out there watching us model the behavior that distinguishes us as Airmen guided by integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.

From what I've seen from out in the operational Air Force, our predecessors have done well at providing Airmen of character, skilled in many specialties. We've developed special Airman like Senior Airman Mark Forester, a combat controller; and Airmen 1st Class Antoine Holt, battle management operations and James Hansen, airfield management, who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation.

We've developed Keesler alumni such as the current Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Chief Master Sgt. James Cody. We've developed countless others who have exemplified our wing vision, "The World's Best Airmen."

As Team Keesler, we all own the training mission and play a significant role in developing the Airmen who will one day replace us. I am proud to be a part of this outstanding team and hope I can honor those who have served before me by continuing to develop America's sons and daughters by modeling behavior that makes us Airmen.