Learning to lead: Advancing leaders at the 316th TRS

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Heimbuch
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

This year Staff Sgt. Ramon Ramirez-Mendez, an airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance instructor assigned to the 316th Training Squadron, received the opportunity to work towards finishing his bachelor’s degree with help from the Doolittle Scholarship Program.

The Doolittle Scholarship Program is a partnership between the 17th Training Group and Angelo State University meant to support the professional development of instructors on base.

The Doolittle program gives the opportunity for instructors to become a full-time student at ASU; the Air Force requires a minimum of two classes be used to advance the education of Goodfellow leaders.

The program is one of many ways the 17th Training Wing collaborates with the local community and advances leaders.

“This program benefits the Air Force because I’m learning how to develop curriculums for education purposes,” said Ramirez-Mendez. “I was already working towards my bachelor’s degree and this helps me advance 15 credit hours.”

Ramirez-Mendez elected to take adult learning and development of curriculum as well as general psychology as part of his five classes for the semester.

“Sergeant Ramirez-Mendez had already shown to be a great leader with the enthusiasm and desire to continue improving as an instructor,” said Staff Sgt. Catherine Gannon, a fellow instructor assigned to the 316th TRS. “His willingness and passion to teach others are definitely good traits in this line of work.”

Being a student again, Ramirez-Mendez says he is able to observe the students coming into the Air Education and Training Command pipeline and learn what keeps them engaged in a lesson.

Ramirez-Mendez says in the classes he learned new skills, which he plans to implement here to improve his teaching and introduce new ways of learning in the classroom.

“Programs like this gives the Air Force an opportunity to increase its capabilities by developing instructors to have higher level skills in professional education,” said Gannon. “The application of these programs helps increase training effectiveness.”

In the classes, he learned what goes into making an effective lesson plan and can now find areas to improve within the course curriculum when he returns, because he understands the finer details of creating lessons.

Taking the time to participate in the Doolittle Scholarship Program has given Ramirez-Mendez the opportunity to improve how he teaches at Goodfellow and adapt to how young Airmen learn.