A day in the life of...
By Airman 1st Class Joshua Edwards, 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 10, 2013
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Staff Sgt. Barak Heaney, 316th Training Squadron military training leader, was shadowed by Jennifer Rios,a reporter from The Standard-Times, Dec. 20.
When Rios entered Heaney's office that morning, she was drawn to several items. First she noticed all the abstract paints on his walls, most of them Heaney had painted himself. On his desk were various items graduated students had left behind in their dorms. The final item she noticed was the X-ray of Heaney's broken hand.
"It's just to keep the Airmen thinking," said Heaney about the X-ray. "They come in here and have to stand at attention, and that's the first thing they see."
The first part of Heaney's day Rios observed was an Advance Transition Phase brief. This is a training in which Airmen can "phase up" to gain more freedoms.
After the ATP brief, Heaney and Rios went to breakfast at the Western Winds Dining Facility. Rios questioned Heaney on different topics such as the meanings of different colored ropes some training Airmen wear and what the duties of an MTL are.
"As an MTL, you're here to meet the needs of the Airmen," said Heaney. "Be it financial, death in the family, problems with wives or a girlfriend left them. Any problem you can have in life, they all have. If it's affecting them emotionally, it may affect them during school."
After breakfast, Heaney and Rios walked outside to the 316 TRS morning formation to brief the students before their marchto school. Once finished, he walked along side them as they marched to school.
Once back at the 316 TRS facility, Heaney out processed several Airmen who recently graduated.
After Heaney finished out processing the Airmen he inspected their rooms to ensure they were empty and clean so that the Airmen could move on to their next duty station.
Finished with his morning duties, Rios finally got the chance to do a formal interview. The interview had interruptions that would be expected of an MTL such as phone calls, Airman asking for help or another MTL just having some fun.
Rios asked Heaney about various aspects of his life such as family, his life before the military, the Airmen he deals with and what it means to him to be an MTL .
"I found it very rewarding to be able to touch some of these people's lives," said Heaney. "I've enjoyed being an MTL."