Created in 1947 as a supportive component of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Air National Guard currently employs about 19,500 women. The Guard’s history of employing women is long, starting with Capt. Norma Parsons in the 1950s. Since then, women have gone on to pioneering roles in the organization as pilots and commanders. Today’s women can choose from a variety of positions in the U.S. Air National Guard. Enlisting in the Guard offers training, advancement and personal satisfaction. Women leaving the U.S. Air Force can also transition to the Guard as reservists, allowing them to pursue other careers and spend time with family, while still protecting the country.
Joining the U.S. Air National Guard requires meeting certain criteria. An applicant must be at least 18 years old but not older than 35. The Guard requires a high school degree and successful completion of a physical. Once accepted into the Guard, women attend a six-week course acclimating them to military life. Transfers from other military branches do not need to take this course. If your focus is on career training, then you are in luck. The Guard administers a career questionnaire that helps determine which career path is best for you. The name of this questionnaire is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB.
The Air National Guard offers plenty of opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping. If action is what you are craving, then a position as a pararescue specialist is for you. Pararescue specialists carry out search-and-rescue missions after natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes. You can also assist your team in getting ready for any dangers that may occur by becoming a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape Specialist. In this role, you will train Guard members in the skills that they need to evade capture. If they are captured, they can use the skills that you have taught them to resist the enemy.
For those that prefer to work behind the scenes in less dangerous roles, the Guard offers many supportive roles. Supporting jobs in the Air National Guard range from pest management specialists, and water system maintenance to operations management. Jobs vary depending on your state of residence. Positions may also require additional qualifications and a security clearance. Administrative jobs include human resource personnel, training and recruitment staff and inventory specialists. The government also contracts work with outside agencies, which creates a need for contract specialists and finance personnel.
Jobs requiring advanced degrees are prevalent in the Air National Guard. Physicians, pediatricians, lawyers and engineers are all needed in the Guard. The most prevalent jobs requiring special education are those requiring a computer science background. Cyberspace support, satellite systems and computer systems planning are just some of the intelligence technology positions available in the Air National Guard. The Guard does not provide training for these positions, so applicants need to already be certified in their career field before applying for these positions.
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