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MTL of the Year inspired by family, colleagues

MTL of Year poses for photo

Tech. Sgt. Austin Meier, 344th Training Squadron Military Training Flight, Assistant Flight Chief, poses for a photograph at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Nov. 16, 2021, after being named the 37th Training Group Military Training Leader of the Year. Meier helps support, guide, and mentor Airmen during their technical training. MTLs address everything from family concerns to training delays, along with managing dormitories and coordinating permanent change of station requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Agnes Koterba)

MTL of the Year and his team

Tech. Sgt. Austin Meier (far left), 344th TRS Military Training Flight, Assistant Flight Chief, gathers with his Military Training Leader team at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. He was recently named the 37th Training Group MTL of the Year. MTLs address everything from family concerns to training delays, along with managing dormitories and coordinating permanent change of station requirements. (Courtesy photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Inspired by a deeply rooted military household with a history of service and self-sacrifice, Tech. Sgt. Austin Meier grew up unwaveringly willing to serve. It wasn’t just one parent in Meier’s family who committed to defending our nation. His parents, grandfathers, and an uncle served in the Air Force.

This alone played a large part in his decision to follow in their footsteps. 

Meier, who is now the assistant flight chief of the 344th Training Squadron Military Training Flight, did not join the Air Force right after high school and instead went to college. After a year of studies, he decided to pursue his true calling.

“The way we as an Air Force treat each other, defend the freedoms of our country, and the powerful sense of community is what drew me into it,” Meier said.

He began his military career in fire protection where he worked as a firefighter, dispatcher, station captain, and Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Emergency Communications Center.

“My time in all of these positions provided me a good amount of experience with extinguishing fires, mitigating hazards, providing medical care, and working with many different types of people,” Meier explained.

“It was a rocky road at times, as I had to deal with deaths and suicides of strangers and co-workers. Those experiences taught me a great deal about the importance of relationships and good health. I make it my intention to see the person behind the uniform with each encounter I have now,” he added.

As he progressed in his military journey, Meier was selected as a Military Training Leader where he helps support, guide, and mentor Airmen in technical training. His dedication paid off when he was recently selected as the 37th Training Group MTL of the Year.

Whether it’s personal or professional, MTLs address everything from family concerns to training delays, along with managing dormitories and coordinating permanent change of station requirements.

Being an MTL is no easy task and has taught Meier the importance of being a leader, wingman, and teammate.

“It takes teamwork to make the mission work wherever you are,” Meier said. “I try to lead by example and show the Airmen what kind of leaders we need in the Air Force. Doing my best to display the Air Force core values in all that I do, and taking care of my fellow Airmen around me, is my ultimate goal.”

Meier hopes to continue inspiring Airmen.

“Touching the lives of people around me on a day-to-day basis in a positive manner is a goal of mine. If I can do that personally by caring about people’s needs or professionally by developing or assisting my fellow Airmen, then I will find satisfaction in that,” Meier said.

At the end of the day, he attributed much of his success to positive teamwork.

“The honor of being named MTL of the Year is a testament to the amazing team I work with. My fellow MTLs, instructors at my squadron, squadron leadership, all the way up to the 37th TRG MTLs, and 37th TRG leadership have all played a key role in this achievement. I couldn’t have done it without these great people,” Meier said.

Being at the core of Airmen’s lives is a meaningful responsibility.

“Our MTL corps is very diverse in the 37th TRG. However, one thing they all have in common is that they care about our Airmen. From the time our Airmen wake up, until they go to bed, our MTLs are there. They are the Airmen’s supervisor, life coach and mentor while they navigate the Air Force during their technical training experience,” said Col. Joyce Storm, 37th TRG commander.

“I’m so grateful for the dedication each and every one of them show our Airmen in training,” Storm added. “Tech. Sgt. Meier’s dedication to our Airmen speaks for itself and this award only attests to his phenomenal work!”