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Vandenberg's AF Reserve recruiter is ready to talk career paths, opportunities

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Master Sgt. Kamala Thigpen, Vandenberg’s Air Force Reserve recruiter, poses for a photo in her office in Building 11777 here Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. For more information about the Air Force Reserve, call Master Sgt. Kamala Thigpen at 606-2704 or email kamala.thigpen@vandenberg.af.mil. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Master Sgt. Kamala Thigpen, Vandenberg’s Air Force Reserve recruiter, poses for a photo in her office in Building 11777 here Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. For more information about the Air Force Reserve, call Master Sgt. Kamala Thigpen at 606-2704 or email kamala.thigpen@vandenberg.af.mil. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Steve Bauer)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airmen who have served the country with pride but are looking to separate from active-duty service have many options available to them.

The new in-service Air Force Reserve recruiter for Vandenberg, Master Sgt. Kamala Thigpen (as of Sept. 1, 2011), is prepared to help guide Airmen who are unsure of which career path they should take.

"I am here to help; I am not here to push the Reserve on anyone," said Thigpen, the 10-year Air Force Reserve recruiting specialist. "I primarily speak with service members who are separating from active duty about two programs I manage, Palace Front and Palace Chase."

The first option Airmen have is the Palace Front program. This program allows Airmen to make a smooth transition to the Air Force Reserve once their active-duty contract has been fulfilled. It provides a part-time paycheck to help Airmen transition away from active-duty.

The second option, Palace Chase, is one Airmen need to apply for. Palace Chase allows Airmen to transfer to the Reserve before they have completed their active-duty contract.

Both Palace Chase and Palace Front programs are offered to both the officer and enlisted ranks.

Aside from meeting with separating service members during the duty week, Thigpen visits local high schools, spanning San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, to educate students about Reserve opportunities. Thigpen also speaks at colleges, the Airman and Family Readiness Center's Transition Assistance Program class and Vandenberg's Informed Decision Briefing.

"The Reserve has a lot to offer," said Thigpen, who is a native of Blytheville, Ark. "What I like most about this position is helping people. That is where my job satisfaction comes from - helping someone do something they want to do."

For more information about the Air Force Reserve, call Master Sgt. Kamala Thigpen at 606-2704 or email kamala.thigpen@vandenberg.af.mil.