Reserve military training instructors needed
By Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason, 507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 29, 2015
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
The 433rd Training Squadron is recruiting NCOs to serve as Reserve Military Training Instructors to train tomorrow's Airmen at Joint Base san Antonio-Lackland, Texas.
Reservists between the ranks of Staff Sgt. to Master Sgt. can not only serve as instructors in the Traditional Reservist capacity, but also through the Active Guard Reserve and Air Reserve Technician programs.
Serving as an MTI is a phenomenal broadening opportunity for NCOs to develop leadership skills while earning special duty credit, said Lt. Col. Janette L. Thode, 433rd TRS commander.
"Where else does an NCO get to take 50 civilians, instill discipline in them, teach them core values, mold them into a cohesive team and ultimately transform them into Airmen?" asked Thode. "We are searching for that special NCO."
According to Tech. Sgt. James MacKay, an MTI from the 321st Training Squadron, Reservists typically perform their unit training assemblies once a quarter, for a total of four mandatory UTAs per year. However, there is flexibility in annual tour days, and Reservists can break up their annual tour in varying increments, as long as the 39-day per year requirement is met.
MacKay said he left a lucrative civilian career for the opportunity to mold the next generation of Airmen.
"It's the most rewarding thing I've done in my adult life," said MacKay, an Air Force veteran with 18 years of service between serving on active duty, in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.
"The most rewarding aspect is having the ability to take these young men and women and build character in them," said MacKay. "I not only want to build a warrior airman, but also a good citizen."
36,000 Airmen graduate from Basic Military Training per year, which breaks down to 3,000 a month or 750 a week. There are approximately 5,000 trainees on the base at any given time.
"From a reservist's perspective, it gives you an amazing opportunity to hone leadership skills, because you're dealing with 50-70 trainees per flight and they all have different issues," said MacKay. "Many 1st Sergeants have served as MTIs."
Basic training is 9.5 weeks long: The first week is dubbed "Zero Week", reserved for in-processing and issuing uniforms, followed by 7.5 weeks of training, and ends up with "Airmen's Week," a week of instruction that serves as a transition between BMT and technical training school.
Misconceptions about the training program prevent some of the sharpest NCOs from volunteering, according to Tech Sgt. Jesse Garcia, an MTI with the 433rd TRS.
"You may remember your MTI always being in your barracks and seeming as though they never slept or went home," said Garcia. "In fact, at one time, that was accurate. Today, there are limitations that promote an increase in the quality of life of training instructors."
MTIs now work in pairs as they train flights, with each MTI working between eight to 10 hours a day.
"Working in pairs allows for more off time for each of us to spend with families and for furthering education," said Garcia.
To be eligible, applicants must: Be a Staff Sgt. promotable to Tech. Sgt., Tech. Sgt. promotable to Master Sgt. or be a Master Sgt; have at least four-years from high year of tenure; have a skill-level commensurate with pay grade; have 42-months retainability from RNLTD; have an overall of 5 on last three EPRs; have no record of disciplinary action such as an Article 15, UIF or control roster; have a current fitness test composite score of 80 or higher; and have passing fitness test scores in the past 12-month period.
"If you enjoy being a good supervisor and mentoring troops, being an instructor is by far the best hands-on training you'll ever get," said MacKay.
For more information about joining the MTI Corps, contact Tech. Sgt. Jesse Garcia at (210) 671-2410 or Jesse.Garcia.firstname.lastname@example.org.