The tools of FTAC, crafting success

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Every Airman goes through the trials of Basic Military Training and technical training school, all the while learning discipline, military order and the importance of the Air Force Core Values.

This training sets the foundation for success but there is another course designed to help build on that foundation.

The Air Force launched the First Term Airman Course to help Airmen transition from a training environment to the operational Air Force. The current iteration of FTAC focused on life skills and in-processing which was often covered in an installation’s Newcomer’s Orientation program. FTAC served as the crucial first step in an Airman’s career — but it was time for an upgrade. The Air Force Personnel Center and the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence partnered to revitalize FTAC and mold it into a standard curriculum focused on developing Airmen as next-generation leaders.

The revamped version of FTAC, which launches June 19, 2017, will focus more on professional development and strengthening Air Force culture.

“FTAC served a purpose of in-processing people,” said Master Sgt. Johnny Crenshaw, the career assistance advisor assigned to the 28th Force Support Squadron. “But, the Airmen today are more educated and are asked to do a lot more with less; we need to give them tools so they can succeed early in their careers.”

According to Crenshaw, the new course, called Airmanship 300, is a continuation of the training Airmen received during BMT and tech school, and allows Airmen to see things from a different perspective through guided discussions.

Airmanship 300 is the next step of an enlisted Airman’s professional development. Airmanship 100, commonly known as “Airmen’s Week,” immediately follows BMT, and Airmanship 200 is taught at tech schools Air Force-wide.

The Air Force senior leader course called Enhancing Human Capital was the foundation for Airmanship 300, and includes modules and discussions about trust, loyalty, commitment, in-group behavioral psychology, and team building exercises as well as guided “What Now Airman” discussions.

“These Airmen are going to learn things, see things, and they are going to ask ‘why?’” Crenshaw said. “With this course, we hope these new Airmen will come in and throw those question marks up. These are the people that are going to be replacing us one day and as an Air Force, we have to be open to look at their question and see the value in it.”

The new curriculum will be delivered by installation career assistance advisors. The main objective of Airmanship 300 is to help new Airmen infuse the Air Force Core Values into their daily lives.

“The biggest change with the new course is everything!” said Tech Sgt. Corey Goodfellow, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the FTAC assigned to the 28th FSS. “The Airmen will be learning stuff they will experience throughout their career. [This course] gives them early exposure to some of the things they will be dealing with.”

Goodfellow explained it’s going to help Airmen with their critical thinking skills. Airmen coming in right out of high school may not have the particular skillsets for their career, so Goodfellow sees this as a huge benefit for them.

 “The new FTAC training is a lot of guided discussion,” Goodfellow said. “Knowing how to facilitate [Airmen] properly to where they get the message see the value behind it is far more efficient than reading off a slide. Interaction is key for this new curriculum.”