JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
Joining the Air Force in 2007 was an easy decision for Master Sgt. Michael A. Galindo, who grew up in San Antonio, also known as Military City USA.
He found Basic Military Training to be “intense” and loved “every minute of it” – so much so that he couldn’t wait to come back and become a Military Training Instructor. He not only achieved that goal but he was also named the 2021 MTI of the Year for the 37th Training Wing.
Galindo, who’s the operations superintendent at the 324th Training Squadron, served in Security Forces for 10 years before becoming an MTI in 2017.
“I was excited when I found out,” Galindo said. “I’ve wanted to become an MTI since leaving BMT.”
Galindo said the level of leadership he’s gained from both the trainees and the MTI corps has been amazing.
“Seeing the growth and development of our trainees to Airmen and Guardians is the best part of the job,” he said.
Galindo said he attributes his success to his fellow NCOs.
“They are the backbone of our Air Force and Basic Military Training. They determine our effectiveness in getting the job done,” he said. “It’s a tough time to be a leader. Keeping our MTIs motivated to stay flexible with changes is challenging. Supporting our MTIs and providing answers helped.”
Galindo will soon head back to his original career field. He said his experience as an MTI will come in handy when he returns to Security Forces.
“Being an MTI helped with developing leadership skills to connect with different personalities,” he said.
He added that some trainees join the Air Force with little confidence and/or discipline. That’s when he knows he’s able to help change people’s lives for the better.
“The best moments are watching the trainees upon arrival, wanting to quit but sticking it out and transforming into motivated, confident Airmen and Guardians,” he said. “We have a lot of great talent joining our Air Force and keeping them in the fight makes us effective!”
For anyone considering becoming an MTI, Galindo’s advice is simple.
“Do it! It’s a great opportunity to build your leadership skills and you get to work with all AFSCs.”