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Training effective leaders to better the future force

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

Second Air Force has rolled out the first Deliberate Leadership Education program for Military Training Leaders across the Air Force on Aug. 16.

With inspiration from MTLs across the technical training pipeline’s feedback, DLE was designed with the Deliberate Leadership Development programs in place for Military Training Instructors and Academy Military Trainers in mind.

“Our young staff sergeants that are coming in or even some of our technical sergeants may have never supervised before or have only supervised a few Airmen and now we throw 60, 80, or a hundred Airmen at them,” said MSgt. Kristen Jordan, Second Air Force MTL functional manager.

The program offers 16 courses, refined for the situations and stressors seen on the job, for both newer and seasoned leaders moving into the MTL Developmental Special Duty.

“They may start experiencing burnout because they've been putting in long hours, dealing with very tough situations and seeing a lot of unique challenges they're not accustomed to,” said Tech. Sgt. Nathan Little, Second Air Force command MTL. “We're looking at helping build them to overcome those challenges and gain resiliency skills that will allow them to keep doing a good job.”

In partnership with the Center for Character and Leadership Development, Second Air Force applied the information received from MTLs to arrange this program and make it available virtually. This program is also anticipated to expand to technical training instructors.

“A benefit of having DLE is because MTLs are serving in a DSD, so we need to enhance their soft skills, or attributes enabling the ability to interact effectively with others, for leadership,” said Jordan. “We want to do the same for our instructors and keep building the program up to ensure our people are being taken care of so that they're taking care of their people.”

The program was developed for over a year with the intent of offering a deeper dive into better ways to lead and be a balanced leader. Some of the courses include Building Cohesive Teams, Navigating Interpersonal Conflict, Humility in Leadership and Dare to Lead.

“It’s not just bringing soft skills to Airmen as military members, but also as potential supervisors in their units when they return, or even after they no longer serve,” said Little. “We aim to give them better communication skills and make any team they’re a part of stronger and overcome any challenge.”

MTLs will receive the courses during their 36 months tour while they train to develop the next generation of Airmen.

“If we can't communicate with our Airmen, or if we can't communicate with our teammates, how are we going to build the force to be stronger,” said Jordan. “I’m not going to be here forever.  I need to know that the Airmen, NCOs, and teammates who come up after I leave are continuing to serve a greater purpose.  MTL Deliberate Leadership Education is a step in the right direction for building leaders of character.”