Just bring one: 181st Patriot Flight helps manpower initiatives

By Story by Senior Airman Jonathan Padish | 181st Intelligence Wing | April 3, 2019

03.06.2019 —

HULMAN FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, IN, UNITED STATES

03.06.2019

Story by Senior Airman Jonathan Padish

181st Intelligence Wing Public Affairs

HULMAN FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ind. (March 6, 2019) — People seeking to join the Air National Guard may find the enlistment process to be a bit of a mystery. Various questions might arise, ranging from what military life is like to what to expect during basic training. The process can seem even more daunting for those who do not come from a military background. In such situations, knowing someone who has been through the process before can remove much of the mystery.

To that end, 181st Patriot Flight trainees have facilitated the 181st Intelligence Wing’s Just Bring One program, through which trainees can invite people who are interested in joining the Air National Guard to accompany them during a drill weekend.

Individuals commanding the 181st Patriot Flight helped facilitate the program.

This weekend, trainees could bring someone with them for the Just Bring One program, said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Amberlee Helm, the superintendent of the 181st Patriot Flight. It lets people who are interested in the Guard see what the Guard is like and interact with different units around base.

The program itself acts as a pared-down open house.

“We get people interested in the Guard around to all the units on base to give them a glimpse of what happens here,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin D. Schulze, a cadre member with the 181st Patriot Flight. “It gives these civilians a feel for the Air Force from the perspective of a trainee. We try to open the doors for them to show them what the Air Force is really like. We will also show them the specific units they are interested in after they talk with a recruiter.”

Part of that open-house experience includes spending time with the 181st Patriot Flight to experience the first phase of the Air Guard training process.

“This weekend, we watched Air Force Profession of Arms Center of Excellence videos,” said Schulze. “The idea with that is to give these new trainees a glimpse into the meaning behind the words thrown around in day-to-day Air Force life. Loyalty. Excellence. Wingman. People coming in don’t know the jargon. The videos really lay out the meaning behind those words, and they resonate with various generations whether you’ve been in for one or ten years. Reviewing the videos broadens the view of the Air Force for the new trainees.”

Still, being in the 181st Patriot Flight means more than just watching videos and attending briefings.

“We teach them the basics of the wing, the Air Force, and the specific aspects of military training, including drill and ceremonies, customs and courtesies and rank structure,” said Schulze. “We give them the foundation they can use when they are at Basic Military Training to excel.”

Others echo similar sentiments toward the 181st Patriot Flight experience.

“Patriot flight is where Airmen first come in to the Air National Guard,” said Helm. “As cadre, we give them the foundation they need to start their military career. It better prepares them for Basic Military Training and technical training school.”

Even though the flight is the first step in a trainee’s military career, the cadre was quick to point out that these trainees are more than just students.

“These people have sworn in and taken the oath, and they are willing to sacrifice their life for their country just like everyone else here,” said Schulze.

Indeed, wing leadership recognized the actions of the trainees, especially with regard to referring potential recruits to the 181st IW.

“I cannot be more proud of our community of Airmen, including our newest members who aren’t even in uniform yet,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher R. Alderdice, the commander of the 181st IW.