The Air Force has directed 175 technical and master sergeants to apply for military training instructor duty, making the once all-voluntary corps a thing of the past. (Airman 1st Class Jason Wiese / Air Force)
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The Air Force has directed 175 technical and master sergeants to apply for military training instructor duty, making the once all-voluntary corps a thing of the past.
A handful of packages belonging to those selected to apply had arrived by mid-February, said Collen McGee, a basic training spokeswoman.
Col. Deborah J. Liddick, commander of Basic Military Training, will decide who among those told to apply will make the final cut.
"Just because they get ‘voluntold' doesn't mean they get selected," McGee said. "[Liddick] has approved a couple of those. She has turned one down because it had a DWI in the record."
The first nonvoluntary MTIs will join the training corps this spring. The 175 instructed to apply for the post were coming up for permanent changes of station and met a new set of requirements, McGee said, including having attained the rank of at least technical sergeant.
The Air Force isn't targeting any specific career field for selection, she said. "You want to take a cross-section that is representative [of the service], from different career fields. You're not just teaching them how to march. You're teaching them about life in the Air Force."
New instructors must have leadership experience, no disciplinary actions on their record and an overall Enlisted Performance Review rating of 5 on their last three reports, according to a list of qualifications published Jan. 10. They can't have a record of "substance abuse, financial irresponsibility, domestic violence or child abuse." They also must pass a ramped-up mental health evaluation.
"They are looking for those with really good records, those with supervisory experience. They have to be excellent at the job they are already in. Once they get that identified through personnel, they still have to get a recommendation from their commander," McGee said.
Airmen who meet all criteria can still volunteer for the job, which has a pay incentive of between $300 and $450 a month, according to the Air Force Personnel Center.
The change to basic training is one of dozens underway, including the addition of more female trainers, shorter workdays for MTIs and greater supervision.
It comes in response to a high-profile sex scandal at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, where 32 MTIs have been accused of misconduct ranging from contact with trainees over social media to rape. Instructors are barred from all interaction with trainees, even after they have moved on to technical training.
MTIs have historically been staff sergeants. So, too, have the majority of those charged in the scandal.
Former Staff Sgt. Craig Leblanc became the eighth MTI convicted at court-martial this month. Two others have been disciplined administratively. Seven more are facing charges, and the rest remain under investigation.