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NEWS | June 16, 2016

Master sergeant recognized as MTI of the Year

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Public Affairs

Master Sgt. Raul Hernandez Jr., 326th Training Squadron acting superintendent, is not big on awards.

When he found out he earned the Air Education and Training Command Military Training Instructor of the Year, the native of Goliad, Texas, said he felt humbled.

“Out of the 506 MTI’s in Air Force Basic Military Training, I think any of them could have won the award,” Hernandez said. “It just happened to be my turn and I am proud to represent them.”

To earn the recognition, the master sergeant wrote the policies and procedures for Airmen’s Week, a one-week course following BMT for graduates that reinforces core values and what it means to be an Airman before they head to technical school. In addition, Hernandez dedicated 28 hours to Habitat for Humanity, mentored 27 troubled youth and organized two security events as a North East Independent School District Bulldog Dad.

Lt. Col. Meghan Doherty, 326th TRS commander, commended him for shaping the Airmen’s Week curriculum since its inception in March 2015.

“He is basically the focal point of the policy changes and how we communicate policy to our Airmen,” she said. “Not only has he shaped Airmen’s Week, but he has had a lot to do with our training group being successful in how we went about preparing it. He started from scratch on how to evaluate the course and is creating the standards for it and the Air Force. He always goes above and beyond.”

That arduous work ethic stems from being around his grandfather and parents. His grandfather was a ranch hand and his father was an oil mechanic, while his mother was a retail salesperson, Hernandez explained.

“They are not flashy people,” Hernandez said of his family. “They are ‘do the best with what you can’ folks. When I entered the Air Force, my family didn’t know what to expect because they hadn’t been in the service. They told me ‘do what you can and we will be proud,’ and that is what I tell my Airmen.”

Hernandez hopes to continue grooming future Airmen to inherit his work ethic and take it with them for the rest of their Air Force careers.

“I tell my Airmen when they get here their past doesn’t matter,” Hernandez said. “They can be anything and everything they want to be, and I am going to give them the tools and time to be successful. You don’t have to be the troublemaker you may have been before. Instead, be the guy or girl who does everything right because this is a new start.”