On the other side
By Master Sgt. Sandra Niedzwiecki, 102 Intelligence Wind
/ Published August 22, 2010
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- Donning the distinguished "Military Training Instructor Campaign Hat," Staff Sgt. Maria Y. Escobar recently completed technical school and is now living one of her goals. As a Military Training Instructor for the U.S. Air Force, Escobar is now in a position where she can mentor, train and transform new recruits.
The Colombian native joined the Air Force in 2004 and became a member of the 102nd Intelligence Wing because she wanted to give something back to her adopted country. Since joining the unit she quickly excelled in her military career by earning various accolades such as Airman of the Year and Military Person of the Year. During her service with the wing, she worked in the military personnel flight (now known as the force support flight)and excelled in each section. She also volunteered her time with the Base Honor Guard and Recruit Sustainment Program, mentoring new recruits -- the reason she applied to become an MTI.
"I really enjoyed performing drill in high school," said Escobar. "It helps instill discipline that will help you throughout life." She described MTI training like technical school where you learn drill instruction, lots of memorization and all the dorm procedures that entail basic training. "They really emphasize the importance of the Airman's Creed and Air Force Core Values, which is what we as MTIs need to impress upon the trainees," she added.
Speaking of her training experience and becoming an MTI she said, "Once you are on the other side as an MTI you realize that you are teaching civilians - taking away the civilian mentality, transforming them into Airmen in the U.S. Air Force to defend the country." The reality of becoming an MTI will further set in when she marches her first flight down the "bomb run" and graduates her first flight.
As Escobar leaves the Air National Guard and transitions into active duty with the 324th Training Squadron at Lackland AFB, her family will be moving with her to Texas. Her husband, Diego, and children, Ariana, Alejandro and Andreas are excited for Escobar and look forward to the move. Before she departed the unit, she said she looks forward to returning to the wing after her four-year tour as an MTI.