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    Off on the right foot: FTAC introduces Airmen to operational career

    Off on the right foot: FTAC introduces Airmen to operational career

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Jonathon Carnell | Airmen in the First Term Airman Course class work together during a competition Jan....... read more read more



    Story by Airman 1st Class Jonathon Carnell 

    60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

    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.

    FTAC is 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.

    To become 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.”

    The team leader position was an honor to receive, he said.

    “Being an 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.

    For Hyder, living by Air Force core values is only part of being a professional.

    “To me, professionalism means being respectful and presenting yourself in a polite and knowledgeable manner with confidence,” said Hyder.

    Being able to teach Airmen is an incredible experience, he said.

    “One of 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.”

    During the week-long course, Airmen participate in a community volunteer program.

    The last 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.

    “Staying 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.”

    “We are the second highest in the Air Force for FTAC attendees,” said Piper.

    Travis 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.

    “Being the class leader for FTAC was a confidence booster,” said Elizabeth Campbell, 60th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation. “(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 stereotypical leader.”

    The class leader is an Airman who ensures classmates are remaining focused, aware and respectful.

    “When 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.”

    Campbell had not been in a leadership position before and liked how Hyder volunteered her for the position, she said.

    “At first, 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 FTAC and bring to my shop is the appreciation I have for working in a group.”

    Most Airmen won’t forget their FTAC experience.

    “I went through FTAC at Travis in February 2010,” said Hyder. “At this time it wasn’t as immersive as it is now.”

    Hyder’s 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.



    Date Taken: 01.11.2019
    Date Posted: 01.11.2019 18:13
    Story ID: 306837

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