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FTAC’s focus shifts from in-processing to professional development

By Robert Goetz | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | June 8, 2017


The new First Term Airmen Course curriculum is now a reality at Joint Base San Antonio.


Beta-tested at JBSA-Lackland from December through May, the new curriculum, which was rolled out June 5-9 at JBSA, represents a shift from an in-processing focus to professional development.


The course features a curriculum called “Airmanship 300,” which was developed at the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence at JBSA-Randolph and includes modules from the “Enhancing Human Capital” course taken by senior Air Force leaders.


“The new FTAC curriculum will benefit Airmen by giving them the tools to learn how to build and develop their teams and how to succeed in diverse environments,” said Staff Sgt. Mitchell Gorham, former NCO in charge of the JBSA First Term Airmen Center who participated in the curriculum’s planning process.

“My initial impression of the course is that we are developing Airmen from the time they hit the ground,” he said. “I think the changes are amazing, seeing that we have Airmen coming in with college degrees and we are introducing a challenging curriculum to them as soon as they arrive.”

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Daffinee, current NCO in charge of JBSA FTAC, said the course is designed to shift an Airman’s mindset from the training environment to the operational force.

“The tri-part material in the course is geared toward team-building, challenging new Airmen to discuss ethical dilemmas they will encounter in their careers and establishing a base line of professionalism,” she said. “It contains several team-building activities and guided conversations facilitated by senior NCOs. The goal is to reinforce core values from the top down as Airmen transition to their first duty stations.”

Daffinee said she appreciates how FTAC has evolved.

“I sat in these very seats five years ago and received valuable information, but all in the form of briefs with little to no interaction with NCOs or senior NCOs,” she said. “As a former public educator, I see value in the material, but even more value in establishing those relationships with our Airmen and getting to know their stories by having that time to discuss everything from the job to family, personal goals and career paths. There is still flexibility in the schedule to tailor instruction to your base’s area of responsibility and to work in micro-briefs.”

Daffinee said she sees growth in students as they take the course.

“Throughout the course of the week I see the students begin to display confidence, lead each other and gain self-awareness,” she said.

Airmanship 300 is part of a continuum of training that begins with Airmanship 100, better known as Airmen’s Week, following basic military training and Airmanship 200 at technical school. Airmanship 400 and 500 are projected to be developed for the NCO and senior NCO professional enhancement courses.


FTAC, a one-week course, is offered to JBSA Airmen twice a month at JBSA-Lackland.