Trainer to trainee

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tori Schultz
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
Most Airmen transition from being a trainee to a trainer, however, for Tech. Sgt. Renee Strayer, 310th Airlift Squadron flight attendant, she went from being a trainer to a trainee.

Strayer began her Air Force career in airborne surveillance and worked her way up to a technical school instructor at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Working alongside flight attendants, Strayer began to spark an interest in their career field.

"I asked thousands of questions and [the flight attendants] answered every single one of them honestly, so I knew exactly what I was getting into," said Strayer.

After all of Strayer's questions were answered to her satisfaction, the decision to cross train from airborne surveillance to a flight attendant was finally made.
"It was a very interesting transition," said Strayer. "I had to essentially start all over and work my way up."

Strayer stays busy with constant training on safety equipment, emergency procedures and egress procedures. Thus far, she has provided support during eight missions.

"Strayer has already received ground training sessions," commented Master Sgt. Sedrick Roberson, 310th AS flight chief and C-37A evaluator flight attendant. "So at the discretion of her instructor, we will put her in front of a 'recommend ride'."

Part of a flight attendant's job is making initial contact with an aid or a mission partner they are supporting. When flying, flight attendants also have to be flexible and adapt to various circumstances. There are many mission changes they go through on a daily basis; it's a critical part of their job.

"When you first start initial training, it's a little intimidating, because when I was in transportation the highest ranking person I worked under was a captain or maybe a squadron commander," said Roberson. "So getting thrown into a pool where you're working hand-in-hand with four-star generals and congressional delegation is quite a difference."

Strayer uses her previous training as a trainer to overcome difficult situations.

"Strayer has problem-solving-skills that enable her to excel as a student," commented Roberson. "She has motivation and drive and stays in the books and emergency procedures."

Strayer has been a student for awhile; now, she is ready to be a crew member.

"It's a hard job but the rewards are definitely worth it," said Strayer.