DUKE FIELD, Fla. --
It is not uncommon for senior year to roll around and for students to still have some uncertainty regarding a future career path. Teens representing all grades at Choctawatchee High School, Fort Walton Beach, Florida recently had the opportunity to meet 919th Special Operations Wing members to learn more about opportunities that await them in the Air Force Reserve.
“It is important to speak to these young men and women because they typically only know about active duty,” said Master Sgt. Amy Laframboise, 919th Special Operations Recruiting Squadron member. “As Air Force Reserve recruiters, we don’t have the exposure or funding that active duty has so, getting into the schools and presenting our benefits and what we do as Citizen Air Commandos is pivotal.”
Laframboise and members representing a wide range of skill sets to include Combat Aviation Advisors, operational support, special operations intelligence, remotely piloted aircraft intelligence analysts, public affairs all shared information about their hometown, current job, career highlights, and shared why they joined the Air Force.
“Showcasing what we offer and how students can learn to lower that school debt and serve is very significant for them to hear,” said Laframboise. “Six out of 10 don’t know about the Air Force Reserve.”
After the presentation, the group moved into a question-and-answer session, followed by a few other quick presentations before breaking out into small groups for one-on-one discussion.
“I think it was great that members of the Air Force Reserve visited us,” said Senior Master Sgt. Cornell Davis, Choctawhatchee High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadre. “It’s not uncommon for seniors to still be on the fence about post high school life in the months of April and May. I think it’s vital that recruiters hit the ground running in the fall so that students know their options. I hope we have more events like it.”
The students received special swag bags and stickers and learned about community support opportunities for service members.
“Many of the teens we spoke with have families locally they help support or care for, so staying close to home, getting school money, insurance, and serving is a key part of it,” said Laframboise. “We can help with all those important factors in their lives. It is an amazing experience and a large reason why I love to do these school visits.”
This was the second of several planned outings this year intended to engage with the local school districts and connect U.S. Air Force members with area youth.
“For me, I let them know I can provide an opportunity for them to get from where they are now to their dream or goal in five years,” said Laframboise. “The kids I was talking with needed that information. They had no idea we existed, and we can help them do all the above and then possibly commission and join the ROTC in college.”