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Reserve proves viable option during force-shaping

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Master Sgt. Nathan Gilroy, 452nd Recruiting Squadron in-service recruiter, responds to an email here, March 13, 2014. As an Air Force Reserve recruiter, Gilroy understands the benefits of continued service in the Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Shane Phipps)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Master Sgt. Nathan Gilroy, 452nd Recruiting Squadron in-service recruiter, responds to an email here, March 13, 2014. As an Air Force Reserve recruiter, Gilroy understands the benefits of continued service in the Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Shane Phipps)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Due to an on-going governmental budget constraint, the Air Force is attempting to save dollars through multiple cuts - to include personnel.

With this in mind, many active-duty members facing separation will still be afforded an opportunity to serve -- in the Air Force Reserve.

"Airmen who are separated from active-duty involuntarily may still be eligible to serve in the Reserve," explained Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Krystoff, Western Recruiting Squadron assistant flight chief. "I recommend all Airmen see what we have to offer to really make an informed decision upon separation."

If eligible, members may terminate their remaining active-duty service requirement and join the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard through the Palace Chase program.

"Palace chase is great because a first term Airman, who has completed half of their contract, can apply," said Master Sgt. Nathan Gilroy, 452nd Recruiting Squadron in-service recruiter. "When you apply for Palace Chase, you choose your separation date. For career Airmen, the very next day you reenlisted, you can apply for palace chase because you've already met at least half of your original enlistment."

Although career opportunities in the civilian sector are not always readily available, the fellowship among Reserve Airmen provides a distinct advantage.

"While the Air Force Reserve can't always help an Airman with full-time employment, it can provide new reservists access to a network of fellow citizen Airmen who hold jobs in the surrounding community," said Krystoff. "If a new reservist shows up at their unit and displays a professional image and good work ethic, they are bound to be noticed by their co-workers, who happen to be fully employed in fields that may or may not be related to their military duty. In a traditional Reserve unit, it's certainly not unusual to hear how one citizen Airman helped another citizen Airman find a civilian job."

While the Reserve allows individuals to concentrate on civilian endeavors, the option to be activated is always open.

"At the end of the day we know the Reserve is not going to be your 'bread and butter,' but you can still volunteer to deploy and if you want to bounce from orders to orders, it's totally up to you," said Gilroy. "If you get that 'itch' to go somewhere, the option is there."

Krystoff knows first-hand the potential advantages the Reserve has over its active-duty counter-part.

"My brother, an Intelligence Operations Reservist, didn't get his civilian contract with the Department of Defense renewed by his company," explained Krystoff. "He talked to his Reserve unit and got put on military orders for seven months, allowing him the time to secure new civilian employment. The Reserve really takes care of its members."

Considering the current fiscal climate, the Reserve proves a feasible resource for many members to continue their service.

"It's just a great system," said Gilroy. "You can be as plugged in or as disengaged as you want to be in the Reserve. At the end of the day, we still have to fulfill our duty when called on but the likelihood of being pulled into something, without volunteering, is not very high."

For more information contact the VAFB Reserve recruiter, Master Sgt. Nathan Gilroy, at 805-606-2704.