YOUNGSTOWN AIR RESERVE STATION, Ohio --
There are many reasons to serve. Some people join to preserve a family legacy of military service. Others join to gain valuable career skills or learn a new trade while earning additional income in a part-time environment. Still others join to help cover the cost of secondary education. Whatever the reason, Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) provides a venue for Reserve Citizen Airmen to serve globally while living locally.
Senior Master Sgt. John Wood is the flight chief of recruiting at YARS.
“Sometimes we find a misconception that flying is the only job in the Air Force,” said Wood. “That’s not the case at all. We have 140 career fields in the Air Force and approximately 40 of them here at Youngstown. We’re always looking for people who want to fly, but we also need firefighters, lawyers, nurses, public affairs specialists, maintainers, drivers and dozens more.
Last year alone, Wood and his team of recruiters enlisted nearly 120 Reservists into the 910th Airlift Wing. Some of the enlistees were still in high school, some were prior service, some were finished with college and well into the careers and just wanted to do something new and meaningful.
“We’re fortunate that we live in a very patriotic community that supports the military,” said Wood, “and people are excited about the opportunities that military service can bring.”
Enlistees who join the 910th generally have the opportunity to begin their service pretty quickly by entering the Training and Development Flight (T&DF). The T&DF provides monthly paid training weekends to enlistees, covering many of the military skills they’ll need to be successful in Basic Military Training (BMT). This program gives recruits a head start by teaching customs and courtesies, drill and ceremony, physical fitness, Air Force heritage and rank structure. The D&TF significantly improves a new member’s likelihood of graduating BMT. After BMT, the new Reservist will attend a technical school to learn skills required for their Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC), or career.
After completing technical school, the member will generally report to their unit one weekend each month for Unit Training Assemblies (UTAs) and spend approximately 15 additional days each year training on Annual Tour (AT) status. Reserve Citizen Airmen can often take advantage of other training opportunities during the year depending on their availability.
Youngstown Air Reserve Station is the fourth largest employer in the Mahoning Valley with nearly 2000 employees. Of these, more than 1000 are Air Force Reservists who live in Ohio, with Cuyahoga, Summit, Trumbull and Mahoning counties having the largest representation. Despite the majority of the 910th’s Reservists living in Northeast Ohio, service here is not geographically limited. Approximately 150 live in Pennsylvania while the remainder have residences across the Unites States and as far away as Hawaii.
“I’ve got a great team of recruiters who are committed to helping people explore Air Force Reserve opportunities and answering any questions interested people might have,” said Wood.
Call 330-609-1394 to speak to a Recruiter about beginning your Air Force Reserve adventure.