New Airmen get their bearings

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Frank Casciotta)

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — New Airmen go through a whirlwind of activities during the transformation of civilian to active duty Airman, which can be a confusing process. Lucky for new Airmen, there’s the First Term Airmen Center to catch them when they land at their first duty station.

FTAC is a five-day program that every enlisted Airman who arrives at his or her first duty station must attend.

Airmen attending the class receive eight hours of resiliency training and meet representatives from 10 agencies that offer assistance with personal and professional challenges, and three panels made up of Airmen, NCOs and senior NCOs.

“FTAC provides an opportunity for our brand new Airmen to get their eyes on the people who can help them with different aspects of their lives,” said Senior Master Sgt. John Horton, the Vance career assistance advisor.

For most Airmen, this is the first time they have been away from home. FTAC points them in the right direction to get a handle on life in the military.

“It’s teaching us how to be well-rounded Airmen in and out of the Air Force,” said Airman 1st Class Brittany Hetu, a 3rd Flying Training Squadron aviation resource manager and FTAC attendee.

During FTAC, Airmen learn where to go for assistance regarding anything from fitness advice to financial investments.

“You get a lot out of the classes,” said Hetu, a native of Deridder, Louisiana. “It gives us tools to use to move forward over the course of our careers.”