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Washington Air National Guard steps up recruiting

Training, job opportunities and service offered

Tech Sgt. Daisy Pantoja, a recruiter with the Washington Air National Guard, speaks with Civil Air Patrol cadets about the benefits of the Air National Guard. Photo credit: Master Sgt. Tim Chacon, Washington Air National Guard

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The Washington Air National Guard wants you -- or someone you know -- to seriously consider enlisting.

"The WA ANG offers the opportunity for anyone interested in investing in themselves through a commitment to service in our communities, our state and our nation through career-driven training and hands-on experience," said Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Perez, Superintendent, Recruiting & Retention.

Headquartered at Camp Murray and a reserve component of the United States Air Force, the WA ANG has both a federal and a state mission.

During peace time, the WA ANG is under the command of the state's governor. As such, it responds to natural and man-made disasters like the 2014 Oso Landslide, the 2018 stolen Horizon Airlines Q400 aircraft, "Snowmageddon" 2019 and brush fires, to name a few.

During war time operations, the WA ANG can be ordered to active-duty by the President to augment the Air Force.

"Those who serve are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, our classmates, our siblings, our parents and grandparents," continued Perez.

Here is a list of the benefits to serving others:

  • Paid technical training: Nearly every job in the Air National Guard and Air Force is the same as many civilian careers (i.e. Paramedic, HVAC, IT systems, Accounting and Finance, Human Resources).
  • Low Cost Medical and Dental Insurance: Our medical and dental insurance is competitive in cost and provides the same level of coverage as our civilian competitors.
  • Access to Commissary and Base Exchange: Our Commissary is similar to your local grocery stores and is competitive in prices while the Base Exchange offers similar items you would find at other stores, tax-free.
  • Access to Low Cost Recreation: Another benefit for Guard personnel is the variety of the various discounts ranging from airline tickets, Disneyland and national parks.
  • Space Available Travel: Guard personnel can travel for free on military aircraft flying to various locations around the world, based on space available basis.
  • Access to VA Home Loan Program: Managed by the Veteran's Administration, this is a benefit for any military member who desires to purchase a home.
  • Blended Retirement System: The military retirement system now allows members to transfer their retirement options to the private sector.
  •  Intangible Benefits: Guard personnel work in various fields for numerous companies. One of the most lucrative benefits afforded to our members is the networking with other Guard personnel that can lead to a promising civilian career.

Individuals interested in joining the Air National Guard enlist for an eight-year service obligation. This consists of six years of active participation (one weekend a month; two weeks a year) followed by two years in the Inactive Ready Reserve.

"If you're a high school senior looking to learn new skills while going to college, or a working professional who wishes to serve their community outside of their normal 9-to-5 job, or a former servicemember longing to come back to serve, we are very interested in talking to you," concluded Perez.

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