Since November 2022, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Haleigh Irby has been on temporary-duty to the 1st Delta Operations Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland (JBSA-Lackland), Texas, where she has been writing the curriculum for U.S. Space Force (USSF) basic military training.

“Guardian mentality is what we are working to instill, while at the same time defining what exactly that looks like,” said Irby. “They know what they want a Guardian to be, and it’s my job to put it on paper.”

Irby’s efforts in the stand-up of a separate basic military training (BMT) began with familiarizing herself with the Guardian spirit, and finding methods to help the recruits connect more with the Guardian identity.

The process of creating a program that works for the Space Force has been challenging as the young service branch is still determining what it needs to succeed. Irby has been working with the Delta’s contracting personnel on requests for proposals to vendors to create a learning management system that works for the Space Force; one that can be used not only for BMT but can also capture a Guardian’s training records for the duration of their career.

“Some of the systems we work with in the Air Force just won’t work for the Space Force,” said Irby. “We are going to set the Guardians up with a cradle-to-grave record repository that is in one central and accessible location and captures everything that the Guardian has done; every training, every certification, every comment.”

To that effort, Irby has been working with the Air Education and Training Command curriculum development team at the 737th Training Group, JBSA-Lackland, in coordinating a Utilization and Training Workshop (UT&W). A UT&W is designed to bring together the functional managers, training providers and career field managers to review Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) skills and knowledge requirements based on utilization of an AFSC.

“She has been working on getting the curriculum for those requirements and informing our contract writers and exploring what companies are in the market to help us reach those requirements,” said USSF 1st Delta Operations Squadron Commander Maj. Clinton J. Emry.

The difficulty with current systems used in training and accessioning is that they are all different, with recruiting, military entrance and processing stations, and technical training schools are all using distinct systems that don’t always talk to each other.

Apart from the influence her collaboration has made within the curriculum and in streamlining learning management processes, her efforts have also impacted those who are hands-on in the day-to-day endeavor to mold and shape the future Guardians.

“By collaborating with Tech. Sgt. Irby, I and the 11 other Space Force military training instructors are able to give our input on what we recognize on a daily basis; what Guardians are lacking in fundamental training and also what we are lacking in instruction,” said Tech. Sgt. Michelle Holt, military training instructor, 1st Delta Operations Squadron, Detachment 1.

This real-time feedback has been critical in aiding the USSF MTIs in implementing the necessary changes as the service learns what exactly is needed to administer an effective training plan designed specifically for the Guardians, as well as the standards used by MTI staff who are training them as the service continues to strive into its own identity.

“Not only do I know that the Guardians will receive their own identity apart from our teammate Airmen, but myself and fellow Space Force MTI’s will have the tools to build warfighters of Space,” said Holt, “As easy as it would be to simply follow the same curriculum and fall under similar standards as that of the Air Force, that will not do the separate service justice.”

In the grand scheme of things, Irby is standing in the shoes of those former Army Air Corps Soldiers who had to figure out what it took to create an Airman. While her tasks may not be as recognized as Gen. Carl A. Spaatz, the first Air Force Chief of Staff, they bear sweeping significance, nonetheless.