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Commentary – Journey as a tech school instructor

DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. -- "Remember IWAS; ISO, white balance, aperture, shutter," I yelled at the mass of basic still photography students as they try taking photos while getting pegged with paintballs. We're in functional area four, the field training exercise, and the students are photographing their performance exam. "Wait for the action, focus on the eyes, and think before you shoot." For the next twenty-four hours I'm tired, stressed, and above all I'm just hoping they all pass to the next functional area.

That's what it's like being a technical school instructor. You're almost always confronted with lesson plans, with students who don't do their homework, or who are dealing with family issues. You're given a handful of students from all walks of life. Each and every one of them has a different background, a different knowledge level, and a different learning style.

It's your job to see past everything and through mentorship, turn them into valuable members of the U.S. Air Force. It's tough and demanding.

The stress of knowing the future of your career field lies in the hands of the Airman you're training is a heavy burden to bear, but it is easily overshadowed by the pride you feel when they walk across the stage on graduation day.

Being a technical school instructor is a highly rewarding experience. It allows you to shape, lead, train, and mentor the future of the Air Force. It is such an important part of the future of the Air Force that the training instructor is one of a handful of special duties that is considered developmental.

Additional developmental special duties include Career Assistance Advisors, Military Training Instructors, Military Training Leaders, U.S. Air Force Academy Military Training Noncommissioned Officers, Airman and Family Readiness Center Noncommissioned Officers, First Sergeants, USAF Honor Guard NCOs, Enlisted Accessions Recruiters and Professional Military Education Instructors.

Earlier this year Air Force officials announced developmental special duties will be nominative rather than volunteer-based process. Ensuring only the most qualified Airmen are placed in key roles which have an impact across the service.

There is no mistake that teaching at a technical training school has an impact on Airman throughout their careers. I can still hear the criticism and the praise from my instructors every time I pick up a camera. The impact that they had on my life is what convinced me to one day pursue a position as a technical school instructor. I saw them as leaders that I wanted to emulate in my career and to be an inspiration to others.

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🇺🇸🇨🇱This week 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) hosted Airmen to Airmen talks between the United States Air Force and the Fuerza Aérea De Chile. Chilean Air Force Major General Francisco Torres led the Chilean delegation in planning future multinational events between the two Air Forces.
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🇺🇸🇨🇱The Chilean Air Force Fuerza Aérea De Chile and the United States Air Force is conducting a helicopter Subject Matter Expert Exchange this week at the 55th Rescue Squadron Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. This is the second helicopter SMEE between the two Air Forces this year, focusing on the Chilean H-60 and the U.S. HH-60. #PromesaDuradera #EnduringPromise
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#EnduringPromise Take a moment to check out all the work the New Horizons Guyana construction members have accomplished on across Linden and the village of Yarrowkabra.
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🇺🇸🇨🇴🇩🇴🇪🇨🇸🇻🇬🇹🇵🇦🇵🇪Thank you to the 23 Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) students from Fuerza Aérea Colombiana, Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana, Fuerza AÉREA Ecuatoriana, FUERZA AEREA EL SALVADOR, Fuerza Aerea Guatemalteca Senan Panamá and Fuerza Aérea del Perú for visiting 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base! IAAFA provides military education and training to military members of Partner Nations in the Americas. This training builds strong relationships with our Partner Nations military forces. #PromesaDuradera #EnduringPromise
Unsafe intercepts such as this are irresponsible. They increase the risk and potential for collisions. International airspace needs to be a place where everyone flies safely and within international norms.
After a successful F-AIR Colombia air show, the U.S. and the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana continued their work together during Exercise Relámpago! Airmen from the South Carolina Air National Guard worked closely with their counterparts in the Colombian Air Force and continued to share knowledge, exchange experiences and improve interoperability between partner nations. #Relámpago4 #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Embajada de los Estados Unidos Colombia
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🇺🇸🇨🇱This week 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) hosted Airmen to Airmen talks between the United States Air Force and the Fuerza Aérea De Chile. Chilean Air Force Major General Francisco Torres led the Chilean delegation in planning future multinational events between the two Air Forces.
🇺🇸🇬🇾 United States Air Force Staff Sargent Brandon Tucker was the master artist behind the designs for 5 New Horizons ceremonial keys! The keys are given during the handover of each completed project. Four small keys for each construction site and a 10 foot tall key for the handover of our camp facilities.
#EnduringPromise 🇺🇸🇬🇾U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army engineers have finished 4 construction projects in Guyana as part of the New Horizons Training Exercise 2019. Each year New Horizons Training Exercise is conducted in a different Partner Nation, this is the 3rd time it's been held in Guyana.
#DYK Since 2012, Colombian forces and the @SCGuard have worked and trained together as part of the The National Guard’s State Partnership Program. Watch this video on the South Carolina Air National Guard training and flying with the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana during exercise Relampago 4 earlier this month. #EnduringPromise
🇺🇸🇭🇳Great insight into the role of Joint Task Force-Bravo, stationed at the Honduran Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The U.S. military task force provides medical assistance and disaster response in the region while supporting our Central American partners.
#ICYMI last week New Horizons team gathered with the village of Yarrowkabra and Amelia's Ward, Linden to celebrate the completion and handover ceremonies for two community centers.
Another great Subject Matter Expert Exchange between the United States Air Force and the Fuerza Aérea De Chile! This is the second Helicopter H-60 model information exchange between the two Air Forces this year! 🇨🇱🇺🇸#PromesaDuradera #EnduringPromise U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)
🇺🇸🇨🇱The Chilean Air Force Fuerza Aérea De Chile and the United States Air Force is conducting a helicopter Subject Matter Expert Exchange this week at the 55th Rescue Squadron Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. This is the second helicopter SMEE between the two Air Forces this year, focusing on the Chilean H-60 and the U.S. HH-60. #PromesaDuradera #EnduringPromise
The F-AIR COLOMBIA air show last month was a great example of the successful partnership between the United States Air Force and the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana. Check out our video highlighting this crucial partnership! #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Embajada de los Estados Unidos Colombia South Carolina Air National Guard Air Force Thunderbirds
Hear firsthand the changes the #USNSComfort and crew are providing for those in need as a patient reflects on her experience aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship after receiving cataract surgery. #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera
Some amazing humanitarian work still underway at the New Horizons Training Exercise! #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera
A construction update from our team at New Horizons Training Exercise! #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera
Admiral Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), recently paid a visit to the #USNSComfort in Costa Rica, which is on a 5-month, 12-nation humanitarian mission in the region. Check out the video below! #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera
#EnduringPromise Take a moment to check out all the work the New Horizons Guyana construction members have accomplished on across Linden and the village of Yarrowkabra.
Airmen from the U.S. and Colombia have worked closely this month during Exercise Relámpago! F-16s from the South Carolina Air National Guard have joined with Kfir fighters from the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana for this critical air-to-air exercise, which was also an opportunity to build relationships and strengthen ties between two partner nations. #Relámpago4 #EnduringPromise #Promesaduradera U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Embajada de los Estados Unidos Colombia
The South Carolina Air National Guard worked together with the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana for exercise Relámpago in Rionegro, Colombia. Check out this video overview on how the United States Air Force works together with partner nations. #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera #Relámpago4 U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Embajada de los Estados Unidos Colombia
🇺🇸🇨🇴🇩🇴🇪🇨🇸🇻🇬🇹🇵🇦🇵🇪Thank you to the 23 Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) students from Fuerza Aérea Colombiana, Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana, Fuerza AÉREA Ecuatoriana, FUERZA AEREA EL SALVADOR, Fuerza Aerea Guatemalteca Senan Panamá and Fuerza Aérea del Perú for visiting 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base! IAAFA provides military education and training to military members of Partner Nations in the Americas. This training builds strong relationships with our Partner Nations military forces. #PromesaDuradera #EnduringPromise
Unsafe intercepts such as this are irresponsible. They increase the risk and potential for collisions. International airspace needs to be a place where everyone flies safely and within international norms.
After a successful F-AIR Colombia air show, the U.S. and the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana continued their work together during Exercise Relámpago! Airmen from the South Carolina Air National Guard worked closely with their counterparts in the Colombian Air Force and continued to share knowledge, exchange experiences and improve interoperability between partner nations. #Relámpago4 #EnduringPromise #PromesaDuradera U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) Embajada de los Estados Unidos Colombia
🇺🇸🇬🇾 A U.S. Army veterinarian team from the 109th Veterinarian Detachment was joined by volunteers from World Vets to help Guyanese pet owners and farms take care of their animals during the Veterinarian Readiness Training Exercise (VETRETE) for the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) New Horizons Training Exercise!
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