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Being an MTI, a technical sergeant’s journey

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE S.D. -- "I was actually in awe [when] I got accepted for such an elite and prestigious position," said Tech. Sgt. Gideon Stibor, 28th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution NCO in charge. "To be viewed as one of the best the Air Force had to offer was an honor."

It was 2009 when Stibor was chosen to become a military training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

"It was extremely difficult to get selected," Stibor said. "During that time, if you wanted to become an MTI, you had to get letters of recommendation approved through the chain of command first, [and then sent] up to wing level. If you made it through that process you could apply. Finally, all you could do was to wait for the response."

Upon arriving at Lackland, he was assigned to the 321st Training Squadron where he led flights of aspiring Airmen for two years. Afterward, he honed his skills becoming a Get Fit instructor, as well as teaching academics.

Due to his superior performance, Stibor was given the opportunity to work with trainees in medical holding and those struggling to pass the final physical training evaluation as part of Get Fit.

Nearing the end of his special duty assignment, Stibor was offered to extend his tour - he went on to be a full-time instructor in the academics section. During this period, he taught flights how to operate in a deployed environment, as well as general Air Force knowledge.

Being an MTI influenced his life in more ways than one. Stibor further improved his own standards throughout his career, but also met his wife, a fellow military training instructor of four years.

"He had already been an instructor for two years when I arrived there," said Tech. Sgt. Lillian Stibor, 28th Medical Operations Squadron dental records reception NCOIC. "He was very knowledgeable and helped me become a better MTI."

After his time as an academic instructor, Gideon Stibor was ready to get back to his roots as a fuels technician, having worked in fuels management for eight years.

Upon returning to fuels management, he said he enjoyed remembering how everything worked.

"I was ready to see a fuel truck again," Gideon Stibor smiled. "I couldn't wait to get back in one and drive it."

Although he is glad to be back, Gideon Stibor says he does miss working as an MTI - seeing brand new trainees and being able to mold and shape them into Airmen motivated him every day.

The Stibor's agreed their time as MTIs was a great experience and if they had the chance to do it again, they definitely would.

"I miss the people there, the camaraderie and being among the best," Gideon Stibor said. "When you surround yourself with good people, it brings your [own] standards up."