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Non-prior service Airmen, families participate in newcomers’ orientation

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Claire Behney
  • 193rd Special Operations Wing

The 193rd Special Operations Wing hosted its inaugural, two-day non-prior service newcomers’ orientation July 15 and 16 on base in Middletown, Pennsylvania. More than 50 Right Start trainees were in attendance.

"Our standard newcomers’ orientation isn’t specifically designed for those who are non-prior service,” said Capt. Leslie Knight, 193rd Special Operations Force Support Squadron Human Resources Officer. “We decided to structure an orientation for them, engineered to someone who doesn’t have military experience, which includes information from various sections on base, as well as our wing’s mission sets."

On day one of the newcomers’ orientation, the Right Start trainees participated in the Four Lenses Assessment, led by Rachel Hoak, 193rd SOW Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager. Four Lenses allowed the trainees to evaluate their personalities and learn how to better engage with others based on the results of the assessment. Participants also received a safeTALK briefing, which is training geared toward detecting when an individual is having suicidal thoughts, then connecting him or her with the proper help. This training also focuses on eliminating any stigma that may be associated with seeking support of this kind. 

On day two of the newcomers’ orientation, the trainees’ families were invited to attend along with them. More than 50 family members attended.

"We thought it was important to invite family so that parents or family members can hear about the military and their Airman’s future career first hand," said Senior Master Sgt. Greg Souders, 193rd Special Operations Logistical Readiness Squadron Supply Superintendent. "This provided them the opportunity to directly ask any questions they may have and experience a little bit of the military culture."

Together the trainees and their families received briefings on the wing’s missions, resiliency, operations security, safety, military equal opportunity, and much more. They concluded the orientation with an aircraft tour.

“I thought the Newcomers' Orientation was a success,” said Mackenzie Taylor, 193rd Right Start trainee. “The orientation enabled our family to take part in our briefs, and these briefs were extremely educational."

"The orientation made me feel confident I could find where to go if I ever needed something; this made me feel welcomed and also exceptionally pleased to be a part of the 193rd,” Taylor added.

The SOFSS hopes to make the non-prior service newcomers’ orientation a quarterly event to continue to educate and cultivate the incoming Airmen of the wing.