Military training leaders share experiences as Force Generators

  • Published
  • By C Arce
  • 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The buzz word going around Air Education and Training Command, “Force Generator,” is composed of various developmental special duty positions held by hand-picked, multi-capable Airmen.

Here at the 37th Training Wing, there are 48 military training leaders, whose mission is to mentor, train, and lead Airmen in technical training. MTLs are Force Generators who train approximately 30,000 Airmen in 49 different locations that fall under AETC.

Below is a snapshot of seven MTLs who shared why their hard work as a Force Generator isn’t only important to the overall success of our newest Airmen, but especially to ensure they are operational-ready.

Senior Master Sgt. DeWon Rucker, 343rd Training Squadron Military Training Flight Superintendent

Rucker, who joined the Air Force in December 2003, believes that being an MTL gives him the opportunity to develop the next CMSAF.

“There's no way I'd pass up the chance to be a very small part of that kind of legacy,” he said. “I want to push my MTLs to achieve greatness and develop our Airmen to want to be great.”

Rucker added that as a Force Generator, it means he gets to see the impact of what they do on a daily basis. “Knowing that the Air Force continues to thrive directly because of the work we do is why MTLs are the most vital piece of the Air Force puzzle, and why this is the world's greatest Air Force,” he added.

Additionally, he and his team implemented “Next-Level Mentorship.” They discuss various topics with Airmen that can better prepare them for life in the Air Force, such as learning how to read their leave and earnings statements or how to navigate the assignments system.

Master Sgt. Marquitta Stubbs, 343rd Training Squadron Military Training Flight Chief

Wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps, Stubbs joined the Air Force in March 2003. She shared the best thing about being an MTF chief is the teaching moments she has with Airmen. No matter how long the days are and how demanding the work can be, she said MTLs are driven to produce operational-ready Airmen.

“Being a Force Generator to me means having a platform to build, shape and influence our future leaders of the Air and Space Force,” she said. “We help set the tone for the start of their careers.”

Stubbs is working with a team of other senior non-commissioned officers in other DSDs to develop a Security Forces wellness app. The goal is to bridge the gap by providing real-time resources for defenders when assistance may not be easily accessible.

Additionally, Stubbs is working on another project to help MTLs specifically. “The MTL care plan is designed to make sure we are able to take a knee when needed, have work/life balance, to ensure we are continuing to develop ourselves as SNCOs/NCOs [senior non-commissioned officers/non-commissioned officers], and to prepare us to be ready for operational at the end of our tour,” she added.

Tech Sgt. Dominique Fields, 343rd Training Squadron Military Training Flight Military Training Leader

Fields joined the Air Force in February 2013 knowing that he wanted his life and name to be meaningful.

“There's nothing more meaningful to the Air Force than impacting and developing its newest members,” he shared. “Being a Force Generator is one of the highest honors you can obtain in an Air Force uniform, and there's nothing else I'd rather do for the Air Force. I'm extremely blessed to be in this position.”

Outside of work, Fields’ biggest passion is coaching youth football. With that said, he helped organize a sports day for 2,000 Airmen & Sailors this past May and even accumulated over half a million views on several social media platforms. As a result, Nolan Smith, assistant men’s basketball coach for the University of Louisville, reached out to Airman 1st Class Austin Parker, one of Field’s Airmen, for his athletic prowess. Parker earned a spot on the All-Air Force and Ramstein Air Force Base Men's Basketball teams.

Tech Sgt. Demetrius Ingram, 344th Training Support Squadron Assistant Flight Chief

Ingram joined the Air Force in January 2008 after trying out college for three semesters. Over 14 years later, Ingram shared he is in the best job he could ever have.

“Nothing compares to the gratification that I feel when my former Airmen contact me and tell me the positive impact that I've made in their career,” he said. “I pride myself on helping, being there for others, and being an MTL provides daily opportunities to do both.”

As the squadron’s Booster Club president, he designed their morale patch and T-shirt, and organized volunteers for the Valero Golf Tournament this past March.

Tech Sgt. Craig Irvine, 343rd Training Squadron Military Training Flight Military Training Leader

Irvine joined in March 2009 for the education and travel opportunities the Air Force provides. Now, it’s his motivation that comes from honoring his faith to be of service to others and seeing his fellow MTLs work hard every day that keeps him fired up.

“This opportunity is life changing and presents opportunities you cannot find anywhere else but the 343rd,” he said.

Irvine also shared that as an MTL, even though one of the main jobs is to mentor, he’s learned that someone else can be better suited to solve a situation as long as one is willing to listen.

He was approached by an Airman who struggled with the English language, who then wanted to separate from the Air Force. “I tried my best to encourage this Airman, but I could not connect with them; I stopped talking and just listened,” he added.

Irvine had the idea to reach out to Staff Sgt. Jose Santos who then spoke to the Airman struggling with English for several hours. “The Airman is now thriving in training,” Irvine added. “It was Staff Sgt. Santos’ ability to connect with him and my willingness to understand that there’s someone better suited to take on this concern that made the difference.”

Staff Sgt. Megan Hein, 343rd Training Squadron Military Training Flight Military Training Leader

Coming from a military family, Hein knew she would eventually join. After living in Germany when she was a child, she had hoped to provide different cultural experiences to her future children, so she joined the Air Force in August 2011.

Now, as an MTL, she shared that the Airmen are her motivation, and she puts her best foot forward every day to ensure they are cared for.

“The best part of my day is seeing my team after they get out of class,” she said. “Even though they’re tired from learning their AFSC [Air Force Specialty Code] all day, they are always excited to see what work I have for them.”

Staff Sgt. Clarissa Scott, 344th Training Squadron Military Training Leader/Non-commissioned Officer in Charge, Out-processing, Reclass, and Discharge

Scott joined the Air Force in June 2011 after feeling like there weren’t many options for her at the time. Not only is she stationed here, but she’s a San Antonian too. After being stationed overseas the majority of her career, she shared she finally has the opportunity to be home and spend time with her family.   

She shared one of the best experiences she’s had as an MTL was being chosen to be the 2022 Joint Base San Antonio Air Force Ambassador during Fiesta San Antonio, an annual festival held in April here.

“I worked with community and military members to raise over $700 million for the local community through 44 non-profit Fiesta events,” she said. “I was also able to visit with over 10,000 students at the local schools to encourage them to continue their education. It was one of the greatest experiences I've had in my Air Force career, and it was such an honor to represent not only the Air Force but the Military Training Leader core.”

She shared the best thing about being an MTL is when she knows she’s made a difference in an Airman’s life. “When they come see you before they leave or reach back out to you through email and thank you for everything you did for them, it is just the greatest feeling in the world,” she said.

Military training leaders go through a four-week course at Keesler Air Force Base for their initial training. The course teaches the role of the MTL in conducting military training and counseling of non-prior service Airmen attending technical training schools.