From trainer to communicator

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Brittany Liddon
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
"When I was at Basic Military Training, I told my instructor 'I'll be back down here someday,'" recalled Tech. Sgt. Matthew Orlando, 6th Communications Squadron client systems supervisor.

Orlando was a military training instructor for Air Force BMT at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas from 2009 to 2013.

For the first three years, Orlando was assigned to the 326th Training Squadron. For the last year and a half, Orlando was an instructor for the 319th TS, where he was one of the beast week and war-skills training academic instructors.

"When I was at the 326th TS, I had about 600 trainees graduate. The last year, I was an academic instructor, so I taught classes to about 36,000 trainees," recollected Orlando.

Prior to being an MTI, Orlando was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., from 2005 to 2009. He was excited to hear he would be coming back to MacDill after his tenure at Lackland.

"It's a beautiful base," said Orlando. "Not too long ago, I was at an old building that the 6th CS was in when I was here before. I was with an Airman and I told him that I use to sit 'right there' when I was a Senior Airman."

Before leaving to be an MTI, Orlando was in the telephone systems career field. While he was out of the career field being an instructor, telephone systems merged with infrastructure and several other communications jobs.

"The vast majority of what I do now is not anything that I've ever done in my career," stated Orlando. "I'm learning a lot from my Airmen."

Now that Orlando doesn't work 16 hour days, he has more time for family and hobbies.

"My wife was happy to have more time with me now that I am back doing my normal job," explained Orlando. "I don't have to work as many hours. It was a nice change of pace."

In the future, Orlando plans to do another special duty that allows him to teach.

"I love teaching," said Orlando. "I wouldn't mind being an Airman Leadership School instructor and an NCO academy instructor. Eventually, I would like to do that later on down the road."