Airmen looking for a new challenge in the Air Force have an opportunity to apply for a special duty, including becoming a military training instructor, honor guardsman or recruiter.
Three Airmen who made up the Air Education and Training Command special duty recruiting team visited Luke Air Force Base Oct. 23 to discuss their current special duties, break a few stereotypes and answer questions to provide more information to Thunderbolts interested in making a job change.
A job as a military training instructor is mostly known for long hours and lost time spent with family, but Staff Sgt. Sabrina Ramos, 737th Training Squadron MTI, set out to clear up the myths.
“Like Air Force culture is changing, the MTI’s culture is changing as well,” she said. “It is now required to have two MTIs per flight, which means shorter hours. We now work eight to 10 hours a day with about a one-week break in-between flights.”
Additionally, Ramos said it doesn’t take a certain personality type to be an MTI.
“To be an MTI you don’t have to be a demanding or intimidating person,” she said. “My trainer was opposite of my personality. He was quiet, and I only heard him yell once, but when graduation came we had the same product.”
At the end of the day, for Ramos, the most important thing is being a good mentor to the trainees.
“MTIs create the foundation for future Airmen,” she said. “We mold, lead, discipline, train and inspire them. And the most rewarding part of my job is seeing them graduate. I get to see what they’ve become knowing where they came from.”
While MTIs build the foundation for Airmen, recruiters provide information to civilians about the Air Force and what it has to offer prior to them joining the military.
“Being a recruiter today is a lot harder than it was before, since there are a lot more requirements for civilians to meet in order to be qualified,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Anne Se, Headquarter Recruiting Service Air Force recruiter.
Unlike how it was back when Anne Se joined, today a potential recruit has to have a score of 50 or higher when taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test.
“They can’t have more than one child as well as they must meet other requirements,” he said.
Along with how hard it can be for civilians to join the Air Force, similarly not just anyone in the Air Force can be a recruiter.
“First of all, if you don’t believe in our Air Force or our core values it’s going to be really hard for you to do this job,” he said. “Some of the traits you need to have are integrity, a hard work ethic and motivation. This probably won’t be a job for you if you are an extreme introvert, because you need to be a motivated hard worker in order to get a good amount of recruits.”
As well as having the right mind set for the job, Anne Se said some of the qualifications an Airman needs to be a recruiter include a physical fitness test score of 80 percent or higher, an EPR made up of 4s and 5s with preferably a 5 on top and more.
No matter the sacrifices made, Anne Se loves his job.
“To me this is the best job in the Air Force,” he said. “I get the satisfaction of helping people get into the Air Force to start future careers.”
Last to speak was an Airman whose career started with a special duty straight out of basic training.
“I was recruited into the Air Force Honor Guard during basic training and found out I got the job on my fifth week,” said Airman 1st Class Michael Picciano, U.S. Air Force HG formal training instructor and recruiter.
Though a young Airman, Picciano said he has a good amount of responsibility.
“As a formal training instructor, I have an opportunity to mold Airmen regardless of rank,” he said.
Being in the Honor Guard not only allows for more responsibility, it also gives Airmen a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and experience things few Airmen have experienced.
“This Thanksgiving I get to be a part of the Macy’s Day Parade, which will be pretty cool,” he said. “We also have the honor of burying previous presidents who have passed, and our color guard is able to cover events such as NASCAR and the Super Bowl.”
Picciano said the Air Force Honor Guard is very near and dear to his heart, and he is glad to be a part of it.
For more information on special duties, call Master Sgt. Dustin Withrow at (623) 856-2985.