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Why reserve?

Tech. Sgt. Jon Hardiman, Reserve recruiter, talks to Staff Sgt.  Michael Smith,  338th Combat Training Squadron, about his options for transition into the Reserves Dec. 3 in the Reserve Recruiting Office, Bldg. C, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.  Active duty Airmen have the option of using the Palace Chase and Palace Front programs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rachelle Blake)

Tech. Sgt. Jon Hardiman, Reserve recruiter, talks to Staff Sgt. Michael Smith, 338th Combat Training Squadron, about his options for transition into the Reserves Dec. 3 in the Reserve Recruiting Office, Bldg. C, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Active duty Airmen have the option of using the Palace Chase and Palace Front programs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rachelle Blake)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- Team Offutt has seen a lot of location changes recently - from the education office moving from Building D to Building C, to the Military Personnel Section moving from the Building C to Building 49 but there is one office that is not going anywhere, and it's the Reserve Recruiters.

Although there are only two of them, Master Sgt. Clarence B. Goodloe and Tech. Sgt. Jon Hardiman, their service area covers all of Nebraska and most of Iowa, to include in-service recruits and civilian recruits.

"There are only 300 Reserve recruiters across the Air Force," said Goodloe.

While they are stretched thin, they still offer numerous services. Over the past year, they have helped nearly 70 active duty Airmen transition to the reserves.

"(For) active duty members, we offer the Palace Chase and Palace Front programs," said Goodloe. "Palace Front allows them to transition to the Reserves when their contract is up and Palace Chase allows for them to file for early separation to join the Reserves."

According to Goodloe, these programs are great options for Airmen seeking more flexibility.

"It allows you to continue to serve, but gives you more control over your life," he said.

Hardiman echoed his sentiment.

"It offered my family and me a smooth transition into civilian life," he said. "I really enjoyed the flexibility that it allowed me while still receiving some of the benefits that the Air Force had to offer."

One of the main control factors is location.

"That is one of the beauties of it - we can place them wherever they want to go," said Goodloe. "Usually it is within a reasonable distance of where they want to live, but some people come back here to serve and live in other states. It just depends on their circumstances."

Another factor is career choice.

"I cross trained when I joined the Reserves from active duty," said Goodloe. "There were three factors that determined my acceptance - I had to quality for position, it had to be available at the location I wanted to go to and the unit had to allow me to retrain."

While a change of scenery and occupation are incentives, there are some factors that don't change with the transition.

"Our tuition assistance is exactly the same as they offer on active duty," said Goodloe. "We also have a great program called the Deserving Airman Program that allows enlisted to become officers through Officer Training School."

For those civilians looking to join the Air Force Reserves, the process is just as simple.

"After a pre-screening over the phone, if they don't have base access, we meet them at the gate and escort them in," said Goodloe. "We have them bring in a diploma or GED, birth certificate, driver's license, social security card and any medical records we pre-determined they needed to bring."

The next step is completing the ASVAB and a physical. Then, in a situation unique to the Reserves, they begin working right away.

"Once they are qualified, they select a job," said Goodloe. "While they are waiting for an opening at BMT, they begin their drill weekends once a month and start getting paid. What's nice about this is they are getting a leg up because they start learning their Airmen's Creed, drill movements and so on, early."

On average, the process takes about 30 days. While, active duty recruits could be waiting a lot longer depending on the availability of their job choice.

For those seeking more information, the Reserve Recruiter office's normal hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"We stay late and come in weekends on a case to case basis," said Goodloe. "We can be contacted through email, text message or phone call."

Goodloe can be reached at the office at (402) 294-7262, by cell at (402) 599-0128, or by email at clarence.goodloe@us.af.mil. Hardman can be reached at the office at (402) 294-2212, by cell at (402) 253-1551, or by email at jon.hardiman@us.af.mil