81 TRG holds second annual Top Tech

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stephan Coleman
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
The 81st Training Support Squadron faculty development flight hosted the second annual Keesler Top Tech competition March 27.

Each squadron from the 81st Training Group selected members for officer, senior enlisted, junior enlisted and civilian instructor categories, as well as a military training leader category, to compete in teaching environments.

"Complacency is something that may naturally come about in a hard job," said Stanley Hall, 338th Training Squadron support flight chief. "This competition helps revitalize those who compete and it's infectious in their squadrons and in the training group.

"We're evaluating them on what they do every day," he added. "It's a hands-on competition that doesn't rely on documents and stats; it's a real evaluation."

Hall has a long history with Top Tech, winning first place for Keesler in 1996 when the competition was an Air Education and Training Command event. He also coached the Keesler teams to victory in the AETC competitions in 1998, 2000 and 2003. This is his second year serving as program manager for the Keesler competition.

The trials and standards of the competition remain the same as previous years. "There seemed to be more interest this year," said Kim Adams, 81st TRSS faculty development flight chief. "With Stan Hall directing us and the staff having experience with last year's competition, we've had a better idea of what to expect, so it was seamless."

The contestants give presentations on subjects they regularly teach and are judged by a panel on the command standards on which all instructors are graded. The MTLs give similar briefings, but also have drill evaluations where they conduct open ranks inspections and march a flight of students.

Preparing for the event isn't always easy, as contestants have to practice outside of normal duties and only have a few weeks to prepare.

"My presentation is based on what I typically instruct," said Jonathon Bellio, 338th TRS instructor. "But, it had to be less specific and tailored to the situation. I couldn't run over or under 50 minutes, and that's hard to perfect on its own."

Many squadron commanders were present for the competition itself, and the awards ceremony at the Welch Theater drew crowds of squadron supporters as well.

"We're so glad to be doing this again," said Lt. Col. Paul Griffin, 336th TRS commander. "There is so much stress in our current environment and this is a great way to get us to stop thinking about the future and focus on what makes us great right now."

Winners were:

Military Training Leader category
1st Place: Tech. Sgt. Christopher Bouker, 334th TRS

Officer Instructor category
1st Place: Capt. Tony Bridgewater, 334th TRS
Technology Application Award recipient: Capt. Tony Bridgewater, 334th TRS

Senior Enlisted Instructor category
1st Place: Tech. Sgt. Gareth Davis, 335th TRS
Technology Application Award recipient: Master Sgt. Scott Fridigner, 333rd TRS

Junior Enlisted Instructor category
1st Place: Staff Sgt. Rayshauna Grooms, 334th TRS
Technology Application Award recipient: Staff Sgt. Rayshauna Grooms, 334th TRS

Civilian Instructor
1st Place: Matthew Jobe, 336th TRS
Technology Application Award recipient: Matthew Jobe, 336th TRS
2014 Top Tech Team: 334th Training Squadron