Instructor trains, inspires Tyndall Airmen

U.S Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tavaras Schoultz, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 4 instructor, evaluates his students on proper weapons systems maintenance at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., March 16, 2017. Schoultz was presented with the 2016 Instructor of the Year award at the Maintenance Professional of the Year awards ceremony in February. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cody R. Miller/Released)

U.S Air Force Tech. Sgt. Tavaras Schoultz, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 4 instructor, evaluates his students on proper weapons systems maintenance at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., March 16, 2017. Schoultz was presented with the 2016 Instructor of the Year award at the Maintenance Professional of the Year awards ceremony in February. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cody R. Miller/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Tavaras Schoultz, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 4 instructor, poses for a picture with his two sons. Schoultz believes staying involved with his family and coaching his children are some of the most important things he can do as a father. (Courtesy Photo)

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Tavaras Schoultz, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 4 instructor, poses for a picture with his two sons. Schoultz believes staying involved with his family and coaching his children are some of the most important things he can do as a father. (Courtesy Photo)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

A Tyndall Airman from the 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 4 shows his passion for mentorship on and off the court when taking care of his students.

Promoting the personal and professional development of Airmen is a key priority of Air Force, and some Airmen take that priority to a whole new level.

Tech. Sgt. Tavaras Schoultz has been an instructor for over three years, and was recognized as the Instructor of the Year at the last Maintenance Professional of the Year banquet. He said his passion for watching his students learn is what has motivated him.

The unit is responsible for training 100 new F-22 Raptor crew chiefs annually. Additionally, the detachment provides higher skill-level training for over approximately 300 maintainers across eight Air Force Specialty Codes assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing.

Instructors like Schoultz also provide conversion training for the F-22 Raptor. Each of the 23 courses is taught using classroom lectures and hands-on instructional techniques. Student curriculum is enhanced by the use of interactive training sets, simulators and actual aircraft. Schoultz is one of 25 instructors whose mission is to support the detachment.

“Our job is to train and inspire the local Airmen here at Tyndall,” Schoultz said. “I truly enjoy what I do and I believe it’s incredibly important. Before I was an instructor, I was quality assurance and I found that it was more rewarding to teach the Airmen I was evaluating on what they were doing wrong instead of just marking them wrong.”

Schoultz started out as a weapons troop and eventually became a quality assurance evaluator. While doing his evaluations he made sure to teach any of the Airmen about their mistakes. When tapped for instructor duty, which he found it to be extremely enjoyable as he was able to inform his students before they made any mistakes on the flight line.

His passion for teaching and educating his students comes from its similarity to coaching. He said he’s always been interested in sports and coaching. Whether it’s teaching his sons or volunteering as a community coach, Schoultz has been involved in just about any sport imaginable.

“One of my favorite personal hobbies is really anything dealing with sports, and then my family of course,” Schoultz said. “Ever since I was a kid, sports have always just really connected with me. My father used to always coach me and my brothers and it really stuck with me. One of my favorites is to go paddle boarding with my two boys. If it’s not paddle boarding then we’ll try another sport or volunteer as a family. Really anything I do, the nucleus of it all is family. I genuinely have a passion for coaching and watching my kids grow.”

Schoultz credits much of his teaching ability to his experience as a youth sports coach.

“Many of the exercises we do at the detachment are group projects,” Schoultz said. “When I’m coaching, one of the main principles I try to push to my athletes is teamwork and team building. Whether its basketball or maintaining a weapon system, making sure every team member is on the same page is always a priority.”

Schoultz’s dedication is not lost to his students.

“Sergeant Schoultz is definitely detailed in how he breaks down each subject,” said Airman 1st Class Ishmar Sanchez, a student at the 372nd. “He’s extremely reliable, this is my second class with him and at this point I couldn’t imagine having another instructor teaching me about my career.”

Schoultz said the most gratifying part of coaching and instructing is when a student finally grasps the material.

“When a child comes up to me tells me they have finally figured out dribbling, it’s the same feeling I get when my students successfully complete maintenance on a weapons system,” Schoultz said. “The gratification and joy I see in their eyes once they complete the task is a source of great joy for me. I think that if anyone puts their mind to it, then they can do it.”

Schoultz said that as an instructor, he has gained some great experience that has helped him in his personal life.

“I’ve definitely learned patience from my time as an instructor,” Schoultz said. “Being here teaching first time Airmen has taught me to really understand that how to break things down for my students. I can’t expect these new Airmen to know what I know as a 13-year NCO. I’ve learned that you have to allow them to make mistakes and learn from them. I’ve brought much of what I’ve learned to my family, my patience with my kids has definitely improved.”

Schoultz has a line number for master sergeant and said he would like to get orders back to Alaska, where he can continue to enforce the readiness and training of Airmen by taking the skills he’s learned as an instructor.