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MTLs shape the future of the force

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

Military Training Leaders are responsible for shaping Airmen and Guardians into professional, capable leaders during their time in technical training.

The special duty position has always been multifaceted, but the role of a MTLs in the past focused on administrative and disciplinarian tasks.

“When I was in tech school, I never met my flight chief, and I rarely saw my assistant flight chief either,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Lamb, 334th Training Squadron MTL. “It was a different experience.”

In today’s training environment, students benefit from close mentoring and monitoring but are still expected to quickly learn leadership and self-discipline. To help students gain the skills they need, MTLs utilize every interaction as a teachable moment.

“If I have an Airman in front of me and they’re asking questions on how to do things, or what they should have done in a situation, I ask them what they think,” said Lamb. “I have my answer off the top of my head, but I'm seeing if they can get to that answer. So that way, the next time they remember because they came up with it.”

Empowering Airmen to find solutions under the high standards of a technical training environment prepares them to be future leaders.

“Airmen are allowed opportunities to take some responsibility during technical training,” said Ramirez. “All of our rope programs or any extracurriculars, such as bay chiefs, detail chiefs and floor chiefs, are designed to get them out of their comfort zone and acting as peer leaders.”

The deliberate structure of technical training also builds on the interpersonal skills learned in basic military training’s Airmanship 100. The next level, Airmanship 200 sets the stage for further professional development at their first duty station.

Students will graduate technical training with an understanding of how to be successful in the profession of arms.

“We can list our goals all day, but what are we doing to make it happen?” said Dixon. “I remind my students that in order to be the best you have to put in the work. Nothing happens overnight.”