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Military Training Leaders: guiding future Airmen

Airmen stand in formation during a Military Training Leader Course graduation ceremony at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., Nov. 18, 2016. The graduates wear a blue aiguillette to signify their role in the Air Force as a MTL. These Airmen are the first graduates to attend a revised MTL course which includes Human Behavior and the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Airmen stand in formation during a Military Training Leader Course graduation ceremony at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., Nov. 18, 2016. The graduates wear a blue aiguillette to signify their role in the Air Force as a MTL. These Airmen are the first graduates to attend a revised MTL course which includes Human Behavior and the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Military training leaders, the first link in the chain of command for Airmen in technical training, are responsible for shaping the future of the Air Force through every Airman, every day.

“When an Airman arrives to tech school, it does not mark the end of their military training,” said Master Sgt. Sean Brasier, Second Air Force command military training superintendent. “MTLs continue the military standards training mission instituted in Basic Military Training, to ensure foundational processes and lessons learned; become cemented in who they can become as Airmen.”

Each MTL brings in a unique skill set that can be used to equip Airmen with a better understanding of the operational Air Force life as well as a successful career.

Tech. Sgt. James Nye, 334th Training Squadron MTL, said the experience he relied on was from supervising and management attributes learned while being an NCO officer in charge in his previous career field.

“When I found out that I was selected to be an MTL there was a bit of work to do,” said Nye. “The hardest part of the process was the recommendation letters from the commander and from the command chief. After the process I was sent to the school at Keesler Air Force Base and went through the MTL course.”

“Going through the course was a great foundation for most things you will see,” said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Free, 336th Training Squadron MTL. “I have the opportunity to help set Airmen up for a successful career, whether it is from giving them scenarios I have seen, things I have dealt with, or even just giving them the information that I didn’t get when I was a young Airman.”

An MTL plays the biggest part in an Airman’s military life by solidifying disciplines, customs and courtesies, values and virtues of the Air Force while helping the Airmen understand why the Air Force operates in the unique way it does. They will ensure the foundation built is the strongest it can be prior to checking in at a first assignment, said Brasier.

“The opportunity this position created showed where I make a difference in the lives of Airmen who are going to serve in ways no one could imagine,” said Nye. “My advice to someone who could be a future MTL would be to remember this is a position of high discipline and character. There are going to be times where the job is hard mentally, but the fruits of your labor will be noticeable in the Airmen who develop under your supervision.”

“You have the opportunity to mold thousands of young Airmen who will make a huge difference across the Air Force and leave a lasting imprint on them for their entire careers,” said Free. “I didn’t really have an honest understanding of what an MTL did, prior to becoming one. I would say don’t back down from this career field based on what you hear or think it will be.”

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