by Mike Joseph
JBSA-Lackland Public Affairs
7/30/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- U.S.
Air Force Academy cadets learned first-hand over the past seven weeks
how military training instructors develop the Air Force's newest warrior
Airmen in basic military training.
The 27 cadets in the Summer Leadership Program developed leadership
skills by shadowing MTIs in seven BMT squadrons at Joint Base San
The cadets from the academy's incoming junior class, along with two
supervising seniors, arrived on base May 24 and departed Saturday after
participating in key positions in the July 13 BMT graduation parade.
"The cadets followed the same steps as a student training to be a
Military Training Instructor," said Staff Sgt. Corey Norris, 323rd
Training Squadron NCO in charge, who oversaw the cadets during their
stay in BMT.
"They shadowed MTIs to learn the leadership skills and the different
leadership techniques it takes to mold future Airmen," he said. "The
cadets did the same thing our NCOs do on a daily basis, and they will be
able to draw from their experiences here in BMT when they lead basic
cadet training next summer for the academy's incoming freshmen."
Norris said the Summer Leadership Program teaches the future Air Force
officers how to become better leaders by understanding how future Airmen
are developed in basic training.
"They will have a better understanding about the enlisted force and how
MTIs mentor the trainees," he said. "They experienced what BMT is like
for both the MTIs and the trainees.
Along with developing and enhancing their leadership skills, they also learned about character development."
Seniors Joshua Hall and Christina Beckett supervised their underclassmen
counterparts. Both participated in the Summer Leadership Program last
year as underclassmen, and gained a greater understanding of the
program's future benefits.
"I've learned a lot more this year, especially about leadership and
mentoring," Hall said. "Here, you're not worried about school or
athletics. You're only concerned about the military side. This summer
has better prepared us for our first duty station."
Beckett agreed with her classmate.
"This is totally different from last year," she said. "We're dealing with more people issues.
"We were in charge of 25 other people. This taught us how to work with
them, how to handle their issues and be better mentors. It's been
The focus and primary benefit of the program is for the cadets who
shadowed MTIs and NCOs to pass on their training knowledge at the
academy. It also exposed them to the importance of working with members
of the enlisted corps.
"I've learned more in this program about leadership and mentoring in
seven weeks than the three years I've been at the academy because of the
roles," Hall said.
"We met with all the squadron commanders in an open forum, and had the
opportunity to ask questions," he added. "What we learned from them will
help us become better officers."
During their seven weeks at BMT, the cadets also worked on perfecting
their military drill skills. The program's culminating event was July 13
when the cadets filled the key positions in the weekly BMT graduation