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New face of Air Force

Air Force Master Sgt. Tiffany S. Lopez, the daughter of Martin W. Coon of Canastota is a military training instructor, or MTI at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. She is the face of the Air Force for hundreds of trainees throughout the year. She molds recruits through a recently overhauled and expanded Air Force Basic Military Training with a curriculum today that focuses on a "warrior first" philosophy.

Seven days a week Lopez facilitates basic war skills, military bearing, discipline, physical fitness, drill and ceremonies, Air Force core values and subjects relating to Air Force life. Lopez's duties and responsibilities in training recruits are extensive.

"I supervise eight military training instructors and am responsible for five dormitories and five flights," Lopez said. "I ensure the development of a MTI once they graduate from Military Training Instructor School."

A job recognized within military ranks as "down right tough," Lopez is dedicated in giving recruits what they need to become successful Air Force warriors.

"My mission is important because the safety and security of our nation is essential," Lopez said. "We provide the foundation for our enlisted airmen, so they, in turn, can provide for the nation's safety. The hours spent during this essential work puts a tremendous stress on the home life. It takes about a year to grow a fully functioning MTI, and then I have to keep them motivated to keep them from burning out."

Lopez holds a broad Air Force background, making her a model mentor for recruits.

"I am a personnelist, and I worked at the Air Force Personnel Center before I came here," she said. "I also served five years as a base honor guard member. I have 19 years in the service, and I would like to become a first sergeant."

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