By Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick, 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 13, 2018
Airman Maxwell Lehmann, 2nd Contracting Squadron specialist, poses for a portrait at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., March 13, 2018. Lehmann originally started developing his data management system, AmnManager, as an Airman Basic in technical school. After 10 months of development it was implemented for testing at the 344th Training Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick)
As an Airman basic, members are required to learn their job and how they fit into the Air Force. Airman Maxwell Lehmann, 2nd Contracting Squadron specialist, proved that individuals can go above and beyond the expectations of rank.
Through his innovative thinking and hard work, Lehmann has been able to develop a data management system intended to help reduce administrative burdens in training environments.
“I came into the Air Force to change things and make it a better place,” Lehmann said. “After arriving at technical school, I made sure I took time to observe how things were running. I always like to try and find better or more efficient ways to do things.”
Lehmann’s system, AmnManager, is a multi-faceted program, originally intended for use throughout Air Education and Training Command. It’s an accountability system that uses common access cards to record and provide real-time data on who is present in the dorms and who isn’t. It also allows Airmen to receive updates to their training records instantly.
“When I was in technical school, hundreds of us had to form up outside for accountability every day. The system I’m creating is more efficient because it doesn’t require everyone to be together at one specific time and has the potential to lower the administrative workload,” Lehmann said. “The other side of this program allows Airmen to be more involved in what is going on with them on the training side.”
The program is also designed to store information on the dormitory. It provides maps to assess dorm residency and demographics. Leadership can receive instantaneous statistics on anything from gender to career fields.
This system is still in the developmental stage and is currently being tested at three different training squadrons.
“I consider the program to be a proof of concept. It is working well, but still hasn’t fully reached its potential yet,” Lehmann said.
Lehmann has been scheduled to travel to the 344th TRS, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to prepare the system for full implementation for testing purposes at the request of Lt. Col. Orlando Chavez, 344th TRS commander.
“The program is still in its infancy stages. However, the impact could be huge,” Chavez said. “Now we have easier and faster accountability of all Airmen that leave the squadron through the Military Training Leaders.”
“Airmen are the creative lifeblood to our Air Force,” Chavez added. “Seasoned NCO's (non-commissioned officers) and officers are engrained to think and operate the way we’re first trained to do, the Airmen walk in with fresh ideas. As we continue to evolve, the new and creative ways to conduct our processes are critical to the success of the Air Force.”
The journey for AmnManager to get to this point was not an easy one. Before its development, Lehmann suffered an injury during technical training which left him bed-ridden for months, but he did not let that stop him.
So far, the program’s development has taken a total of 10 months where it has been discussed and briefed to many people, from flight chiefs to commanders.
“I had to be persistent. It was my program and I had to slowly, but surely, get others on board with it,” Lehmann said. “I believe that people should never settle for anything that is less than the best, no matter the costs. Never say something is good enough when it could be done better. My faith, family and a fellow wingman helped pull me through the hard times, and motivated me to pursue my idea.”
Lehmann continues to work on this program on his own time. Eventually, he would like to see this system used throughout the entire Air Force.
“Lehmann is an example of a few different qualities,” Chavez said. “He refused to let his injury stop him, he proved to be innovative by thinking outside the box when he noticed inefficiency and he showed dedication by getting the system off the ground. The future of this program is unknown, but Lehmann is proof that anyone, of any rank, has the potential to start change.”