Serving in the military requires being all you can be. The military reserves allow those who do not have the time or ability to commit to full-time service to still give their all for their country. Once dominated by men, women have gained major strides in the military, with more and more women joining up each year. As of 2011, women made up nearly 26 percent of all Air Force Reservists, according to the Women’s Memorial.
Types of Reservists
The Air Force breaks down reservist job positions into four categories -- Traditional Reservists, Individual Mobilization Augmentees, Air Reserve Technicians and Active Guard Reserves. Serving in the Traditional Reservist role means working one weekend a month and being on-duty for two weeks each year, while being employed part-time or full-time in a civilian job the rest of the time. IMAs work part-time for the Air Force, helping out active duty units and serving 24 on-duty days a year. An ART fulfills duties in a civil service job during the week, performing those same job functions on the weekends as a reservist. Former active duty personnel now serving full-time in the reserves are AGRs.
Just like full-time military personnel, the Air Force reserves consist of officers, enlisted personnel and health care personnel. Reserve Officers serve in over 30 different positions, including defense acquisitions, chaplain, combat, contracting, engineering, intelligence, logistics, operations, pilots and navigators, security and weather. Positions in defense, combat, intelligence, logistics, security and weather assist pilots and navigators with missions, while positions such as chaplains, contractors, engineers and operations workers ensure that all operations run smoothly. All officers must have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Jobs for enlisted reservists include aerospace maintenance, equipment, operations, civil engineering, information technology, fueling, mission support, operations, logistics, weapons, and transportation. Several enlisted positions entail more administrative than military-related duties, such as chaplain assistant, finance, historian, public affairs and paralegal. Enlisted reservists must be between 17 and 34, attend basic training and pass a physical test. Just as with officers, enlisted personnel have opportunities to move up the ranks, starting at Airman Basic all the way up to Chief Master Sergeant.
Health Care Personnel
Those reservists with a medical background opt for a health care personnel position in the Air Force Reserves. Health care personnel include registered nurses, critical care nurses for intensive-care units, flight nurses who work in aircraft and Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility nurses, who help prepare patients for transport. Other health care positions include critical care physicians for ICU units, dentists and flight surgeons, who prepare pilots for deployments and offer medical care as needed on flight lines. Nurses must have a bachelor’s degree and doctors must hold a medical degree to become reservist health care personnel.
Lindsey Thompson began her writing career in 2001. Her work has been published in the Cincinnati Art Museum's "Member Magazine" and "The Ohio Journalist." You'll also find her work on websites like Airbnb, Chron.com, and USAToday.com. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.