Home > The Journey > The Journey and the Dream, Reignited

The Journey and the Dream, Reignited

I’ve been waiting to write this post for a very long time. For a while there, I thought I would never again update this blog. After Almost three years exactly to the day I officially commissioned into the Air Force, I took the Oath of Office for the Indiana Air National Guard. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. It’s been a long road of waiting and patience, but it’s finally starting to pay off. I am now officially an Intelligence Officer (though I have yet to go to San Angelo for training.) Since swearing in, I’ve had multiple drill days, and it sure does feel amazing to put the uniform back on. I cannot explain how much I missed wearing the uniform. I definitely enjoy my civilian career, but I couldn’t be happier to know I finally can serve my nation again.

Currently as it stands right now, I am waiting for my security clearance for final approval. Once that is completed (and it should be very soon) I will be able to get dates to go to Intel school. I am very excited for that! As of right now I am just a traditionalist for the Guard, so I just do one weekend a month currently. There are several full time opportunities out there with the base as well as around the nation, and hopefully things will line up for me to be able to do that. At the moment though, I’m not going to be greedy. Being a traditionalist is more than I could have hoped for, but of course I definitely want to do more. I have this ever burning desire and fire within me to serve, to do my part. Every step I get closer to being able to do something is amazing. I am extremely blessed to be able to have this opportunity again.

The Air Guard has definitely been amazing towards me. It is a small base compared to an active duty base, but it’s like home. Everyone knows everyone else somehow, and being in the same city where I’m from definitely makes it interesting. I’ve run into numerous people I know from around the area, one way or another. That’s something you didn’t really have on active duty, even though the Air Force would still bring you back together with people half a world away. The guard base feels different, it actually feels like a family. They look out for one another, and they genuinely care.

After all of my bad luck when it comes to the military, a couple of things have actually gone my way. During my first drill in May I found out that they have sign on bonuses for traditionalists. I had no idea I could get a sign on bonus for doing something I already wanted to do. Here I am wanting to sign up for as many years as I possibly can, and then they tell me I get $10,000 for being an Intelligence Officer and serving three years. Lets just say I was completely shocked. The second thing is my rank. I had talked with a Major over lunch and he was in a similar situation as I was. He had been active duty for several years, and got out as a Captain. He then had a long break in service and came back to be a traditionalist at the base. After several years he got promoted to Major, but when he promoted the question was raised on why it had taken so long for him to actually make Major. This was because his time in grade was far more than he actually needed to pin on Major. He had no idea what they meant so after doing some digging he discovered that his time in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR) counts as time in rank. He said that they would form up about once a year to basically do roll call and make sure contact info was still up to date. What the IRR does is allow the military to have a pool of people that have had some military experience on “standby.” They aren’t paying them, they aren’t training them, they really aren’t doing anything other than being in this “parking lot.” if the need ever arises where they need people for a conflict and must call upon people to serve, these people in the metaphorical “parking lot” would be pulled first.¬† I wasn’t completely sure that I was in the IRR myself until about two weeks before I swore in I had to fill out a paper to pull me from the IRR. Unlike the major, I was never told to do anything and I had no knowledge I was actually in the IRR. Thus my break in service (almost two and a half years) counted as time in grade for me. Promoting from 2d Lieutenant to 1st Lieutenant is purely a time based thing. After two years you are promoted. This holds true in the guard as well, but there is a bit of paperwork that goes on behind the scenes. As of right now I am still a 2d Lieutenant but once the paperwork is processed for the “list” of people that are due for promotions in the next several months, I will then become a 1st Lieutenant. This is still over a year quicker than I thought I would promote. I originally thought that I would have my seven months of service and I would then need to be in for a year and five months before I could then promote. Lets just say having both of those pleasant surprises has made it quite nice to be back.

As far as everything else goes…I still have my civilian job with Enterprise Rent-a-Car. I just transferred from Lubbock to Terre Haute with them. I did take a bit of a pay cut (different regions pay differently) but it’s definitely a lot better here than what I experienced in Texas. It’s fun to be in an area I know the people, as I run into people at random times coming to rent cars. I also got promoted with them recently by finishing the management training program. The job is going well, I certainly cannot complain, but it’s not the same as being full-time military. I am counting down the days when I can finally go to intel school and get started back into things full force.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you. Thank you to everyone that has supported me and kept the dream alive. I couldn’t have done any of this without people like you. Thank you for reading.

  1. Ronald
    17 January 2014 at 23:04

    I am glad you made it. I also went through the reclass board and was lucky enough to get an intel slot. Your blog really worried me but it was a great source of information to read as I was going through the process. I just happened to check on your blog to see if you made any updates and was happy to see you got your slot as an intel officer. I am currently at Goodfellow. Did you make it to Goodfellow AFB yet? If not, if you need any info about the area let me know. Congratulations!

    • 17 January 2014 at 23:09

      Thanks a lot! I really do appreciate it. I haven’t gotten there yet (should be there in two weeks, my class start date is Feb 5th.) Look me up sometime when I’m down there! I actually just pinned on First LT, so that’s cool. Glad things worked out in your favor as well. I haven’t heard from too many people on how their paths went.

  2. Jerry
    13 June 2014 at 09:59

    I live in Indiana and my 14 yo son is interested in pursuing an engineering degree at Purdue. He’s also interested in joining AIr National Guard or AFROTC at Purdue. Could you contact me so I could ask a few questions about your journey and help my son with some advice? I’m a retired AF officer but was always AD, not National Guard or Reserves. Thanks!

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