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MTLs offer a career preview

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kimberly L. Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

As Airmen promote and join the ranks of NCOs, time distances them from the innovations of the training pipeline.
The continuous evolution of training brings forth the adaptation of Military Training Leaders.
Keesler’s Master Military Training Leader team saw this distance between what potential MTLs believe the career is and what it has shaped into.
The MMTLs developed a solution, leading to the first trial run of a new Military Training Leader shadowing program Feb. 22-24.
“People don't see all the extra work that's put into being an MTL,” said Tech. Sgt. Dynasty Arentz, 334th Training Squadron MMTL. “Especially those who have been in the military for let's say, five, six, seven or more years, our role has changed a lot.”
Modern MTLs assist Airmen with their finances, military records, promotions and other supportive duties, similar to a first sergeants’ roles.
 “I've taught many young Airmen how to do laundry, shave properly, etc.,” said Tech. Sgt. Alvin Morris, 336th Training Squadron MMTL. “We have to be trained on how to get Airmen to adapt to the military environment.”
The shadowing program focuses on the day-to-day tasks that may be unexpected to individuals eligible to become MTLs, such as Staff Sgt. Marcus Johnson, 81st Training Support Squadron Keesler Technical Training Environment NCO in charge.
“You don't always have the opportunity to see what your job is before you get to it,” said Johnson. “I wanted to see more of the challenging aspects of being an MTL because I'm trying to make a decision about my career.”
After three days of shadowing, Johnson was able to view first-hand how the MTLs conduct room inspections, open ranks, assist Airmen in Training and more. 
Arentz said, there are days when you have to adjust your schedule to support an Airman that is still adjusting to the military lifestyle.
“We need to be able to manage all these extra tasks as well as our home life because we need to have a home and work-life balance,” said Arentz.
MTLs go through approximately one month of training to be prepared for all the challenges they might meet.
“Even if being an MTL is something you're not so sure on, shadowing might change your mind,” said Arentz. “The Airman perspective of an MTL’s duties can be much different than what we actually do. I would definitely recommend shadowing because then you can see what you might be getting yourself into.”
With the consistent drive to advance force development, MTLs striving to develop the Airmen we need are a strong asset. Those who wish to travel the MTL career path are advised to speak with their leadership about joining the shadowing program.