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From Services to Military Training Instructor

  • Published
  • By Emily Farrington-Smith
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Showing his true character, Senior Airman Christian Pagan, 43rd Force Support Squadron, joined the Air Force to give his family a better quality of life. 

"When I stepped foot into my recruiter's office, I didn't know anything about the military," Airman Pagan said. "So when I was asked what I wanted to do I said to him, 'I just want to go into a job that I have a little knowledge about before I get there'." 

His recruiter began to explain the Services career field. 

"He told me about the different areas I would work in and how crucial Services is to the Air Force mission in peace and wartime," said Airman Pagan. "So I put Services as my first choice. I got it, and I do not regret it. 

"Just like in every job, you have your ups and downs, but there is something I really like about Services," Airman Pagan said. "No matter what the situation is or how bad of a day we're having, we always make it happen with no exceptions to how big or small the event is." 

Despite the more than two years Airman Pagan has spent at Pope perfecting his career, he felt that it was time for a change. 

"I felt the need to maximize my potential and to try something new," he said. "I did some research about becoming a Military Training Instructor and decided to put together a packet. 

"The packet was approved by the chain of command," Airman Pagan said. "With their support, I submitted my packet to the MTI recruiting team. In a matter of days, I got accepted to become an MTI." 

An Air Force MTI is responsible for initiating new recruits entering the Air Force into the customs and practices of their new military lifestyle. 

MTIs are Noncommissioned Officers ranging from staff sergeants through master sergeants. Senior Airmen are eligible to apply, though their window of opportunity is smaller. 

After being selected, Airman Pagan had to complete a rigorous and all-consuming seven-week training program. 

"It was very intense," Airman Pagan commented. 

Airman Pagan has been stationed at Pope for two and a half years and, while sad to leave, he is excited to embark on this new chapter in his life. 

"I already have orders to San Antonio, Texas. I leave in a month and I'm pretty excited," he said. "I think my new leadership is as well because I've already been assigned to a basic training flight." 

But more than anything, Airman Pagan understands the importance of being a MTI. 

"Besides the leadership experience that I will gain, all I really want to be is a role model for the young men and women who are going to join the world's greatest Air Force," he said. 

"I can help to transform them (basic trainees) from civilians into Warrior Airmen," Airman Pagan said. "Some of them will end up as chiefs or officers or company commanders. That fact, for me, is priceless."