Reserve, Guard recruiters offer alternative options for Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Heather Stanton
  • 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
With the Air Force reducing in size, many Airmen are looking for ways to serve when their active-duty time is done. 

That is where the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard recruiters come into play. They can help keep an Airmen leaving active duty in uniform. 

"We work on active-duty bases and recruit Airmen getting out of the military," said Master Sgt. Valerie James, Reserve In-service recruiter at Holloman. "I provide information about opportunities for when Airmen leave the Air Force." 

With force shaping shortening the career of many Airmen, the Reserves and Guard can provide the camaraderie and military environment many miss when they leave, said Sergeant James. 

The Reserves tries to put Airmen in their previous career, she said. 

The Guard is similar to the Reserves, but they work for both state and federal agencies where as the Reserves works for federal only. 

Both deploy in Air and Space Expeditionary Force rotations, mostly on a volunteer basis, for 30 to 120 day deployments. 

"In times of state crisis or disaster the governor can call up the Guard to assist," said Master Sgt. Louis Birkholz, Guard In-service recruiter at Holloman. "Hurricane Katrina is great example of this. We had 44,000 Guard members there within one week to support rescue and clean up efforts. 

"Some other things the Guard does are search and rescue, fight fires, sand bag flooding areas, and anything needed by the community. I say we are part of the community, we get to help the community." 

Another similarity between the two agencies is they both offer the Palace Chase and Palace Front programs. 

"Palace Chase allows the Airman to apply for early release from their active-duty commitment," said Sergeant Birkholz. "First-term Airmen must complete half their initial commitment, while career Airmen can apply anytime." 

The Palace Front program allows Airmen to enter either agency the day after their active-duty commitment has ended with no break in service. 

For more information, call Sergeant James at 572-2120 or Sergeant Birkholz at 572-0026.