Military Connection: First Father/Daughter Duo Serving as MTIs


By Debbie Gregory.

The morning of March 27 at the parade grounds on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, two history making Airmen became the first father/daughter duo to serve together as military training instructors.

Staff Sgt. Amanda Macfarlane donned the traditional “campaign hat” of the service’s military training instructors, given to her by her father, Tech Sgt. James Mackay, an instructor himself, with the 321st Training Squadron.

“When (Amanda) told me she had been accepted into the MTI program, I was thrilled. I think she has the same passion for teaching and mentoring others as I do, and I believe she will find this position as challenging and rewarding as anything she’s done previously,” said MacKay.

Before their new careers, MacKay and Macfarlane had a shared passion for mentorship, and joined the Air Force Reserve as training instructors.

“In my previous positions, I was often responsible for training new members on their on-the-job responsibilities, and to me, that was the best part of the job,” McFarlane said.

It all started in November 1983, when Mackay entered the Air Force as a member of the Michigan Air National Guard. Since then, he has been a munitions systems specialist, air traffic controller, and a fire protection specialist, serving on active duty in the Air National Guard, and now the Reserves.

In 2013, he was accepted as an instructor candidate and transferred into the Reserves. MacKay says he credits his personal successes to outstanding mentors who encouraged him to complete his goals.

MacFarlane said she’s always been proud of her father’s service and professionalism, and that she looks up to him for being a positive influence.

“I’m also proud to have this chance to be a part of [basic military training] and to be able to help prepare men and women for their careers as airmen,” she said. “I get to serve alongside my Air Force family as well as my actual family, and that means a lot to me.”

With another daughter in the Air Force as an air traffic controller, MacKay said he feels an immense amount of pride in both of his daughter’s careers

“There were many times my mentors set me up for success, both personally and professionally,” MacKay said. “I hope to pay that forward and give our newest Airmen the tools they need to thrive in today’s Air Force.”

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Military Connection: First Father/Daughter Duo Serving as MTIs: By Debbie Gregory