TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – From new Airmen to
career Airmen, there is something we all share: We have all attended a First
Term Airman Course.
intended to prepare Airmen for the transition from the technical training
atmosphere to the operational Air Force.
It’s the job
of the course team leader to prepare Airmen to get there.
an FTAC team leader, there is an application process, and only top notch non-commissioned
officers get the opportunity.
“As an Airman,
I honestly never saw myself being this far in my career,” said Tech. Sgt.
Nathaniel Hyder, 821st Contingency Response Support Squadron equipment
technician. “I always had the mentality to instruct, but never foresaw myself
being in this position.”
leader position was an honor to receive, he said.
FTAC team leader was made possible for Hyder because of his professionalism
throughout his career,” said Senior Master Sgt. Scott Piper, 60th Air Mobility
Wing career assistance advisor.
living by Air Force core values is only part of being a professional.
professionalism means being respectful and presenting yourself in a polite and
knowledgeable manner with confidence,” said Hyder.
to teach Airmen is an incredible experience, he said.
the biggest impacts I want Airmen to take from FTAC is the whole Airman
concept,” said Hyder. “One way an Airman obtains and expands from the whole
airman concept is being involved with their base and community.”
week-long course, Airmen participate in a community volunteer program.
volunteer event occurred Jan. 5. The FTAC team restored part of the paintball
course on base by setting up tents and removing debris, said Hyder.
active in your community will help any Airman in their Air Force career,” said
Hyder. “It’s crucial that Airmen understand that sooner rather than later when
(Enlisted Performance Report) are due. Also, community involvement maintains
the credibility of the Air Force.”
the second highest in the Air Force for FTAC attendees,” said Piper.
generally has a FTAC every two weeks and an average 30 Airmen enrolled. During
the first few hours of every course, Hyder selects a class leader.
class leader for FTAC was a confidence booster,” said Elizabeth Campbell, 60th
Aerial Port Squadron air transportation apprentice. “(Since beginning FTAC), I
have gained a lot of confidence in my leadership qualities and abilities. When
I think of a leader, I don’t generally think of myself because I’m not a
leader is an Airman who ensures classmates are remaining focused, aware and
first interacting with the class, I observe which Airmen demonstrates
leadership qualities,” said Hyder. “It was clear to me that Airman Campbell
would be well-suited for the class leader position.”
had not been in a leadership position before and liked how Hyder volunteered
her for the position, she said.
I was very intimidated,” said Campbell. “I know, though, that I will have a lot
to take back with me in leadership qualities after FTAC. One thing that I am
going to take away from
bring to my shop is the appreciation I have for working in a group.”
Most Airmen won’t forget their FTAC experience.
through FTAC at Travis in February 2010,” said Hyder. “At this time it wasn’t
as immersive as it is now.”
message to Airmen: Keep true to your core values and be the professional you
want to be perceived as. FTAC will be over before you know it and you may find
yourself in my position.