114th Fighter Wing Career Day draws a crowd

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Nancy Ausland
  • 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Recruiters of the South Dakota Air National Guard held their bi-annual "Career Day" at Joe Foss Field, April 6.  High school students, their parents, and several high school counselors attended the event to learn more about enlistment and career opportunities available in the unit.

The main focus of the day was to bring high school juniors and seniors out to show them the various shops and offices on base that have current vacancies that they could enlist in.

"We hold these career days twice a year, one in April and one in October, and our goal is to get about a 10 percent enlistment rate from attendees," said Senior Master Sgt. Brian Voges, Headquarters, SDANG recruiting and retention superintendent.

The April career day event had approximately 46 young adults, many with their parents, who had the opportunity to see first-hand how members of the unit perform their duties.  After a brief welcome by the 114th Fighter Wing Vice Commander, Col. Nate Alholinna, the students were escorted around the base and given demonstrations and briefings of different career fields.

One such student was Tim Peterson, Beresford, high school junior, who attended with his father Master Sgt. Greg Peterson, 114th Security Forces Squadron flight sergeant.  Peterson is a 22 year veteran and currently works fulltime at the base.

"I'm proud of him for his decision to join," said Master Sgt. Peterson.  "I have already transferred my GI Bill to Tim to use for college, but he said he still wants to join.  He's showing me he really wants to be a part of the unit and not just for the benefits."

Though Tim didn't need to join the unit to get the GI Bill, he added that this was what he learned the most about during career day and was most impressed with.

"I learned a lot about all the other benefits of being a member of the unit, not just the GI Bill, but insurance, pay and travel." stated Tim.

While Tim's choice of careers in the Air National Guard is still not decided, it increased his interest in the areas he wants to pursue, avionics and munitions.

"I want to do something in the medical field, but would really like to pursue something different for my part-time career in the Air Guard," he said.

Some of the benefits for young adults are the opportunity to explore different career options while gaining college credits, pay, and college tuition assistance as part-time members of the Air National Guard.

The unit truly believes that their members are the best recruiters.  This was demonstrated at career day by the inclusion of young Airmen like Airman First Class Katherine French, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, who has only been back from technical training for one week and attended the career day to speak to the young adults in attendance.

"I can't say enough about how glad I am that I joined the Guards," said French.  "I love it out here!"

For more information on the current vacancies at the 114th Fighter Wing, please contact the recruiting staff at (605)988-5718 or email:  usaf.sd.114-msg.list.recruiting-retention.