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Air Force Aid scholarships available for active-duty spouses

By Robert Goetz | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Feb. 2, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Applications are available at two Joint Base San Antonio military and family readiness centers for a program that sets the spouses of active-duty Air Force members on a course toward a satisfying career.

The Air Force Aid Society Spouse Employment Program, which traces its roots back to an AFAS employment initiative at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, some 20 years ago, provides spouses with scholarships so they can receive specialized training to assist with employment opportunities.

This year’s scholarships offered through the AFAS office at the JBSA-Lackland Military & Family Readiness Center will fund a six-week office administration training course offered by Northwest Vista College at the Alamo Colleges Workforce Center of Excellence, while the scholarships at JBSA-Randolph will pay for a four-week certified cardiac rhythm analysis technician online training course offered by University of the Incarnate Word.

“The training needs to be something that can lead active-duty spouses to a profession,” said Mike Bell, JBSA-Randolph M&FRC community readiness consultant and AFAS officer. “It takes them to that first step so they can get a job. It’s also something they can build on and can lead to other jobs.”

Jennifer Wagoner-Gates, JBSA-Lackland M&FRC community readiness consultant and AFAS officer, said the office administration career field has a bright future.

“According to the Department of Labor, the demand for this skill is projected to grow 13 percent over the next seven years and is a portable skillset that can easily transfer to other duty locations,” she said.

A need for cardiac rhythm analysis technicians also exists, Bell said.

The certificate students receive after passing a course-ending exam allows them to use specialized monitoring equipment to analyze electrocardiograms, or ECGs, he said. The training prepares them for careers such as telemetry technician, emergency medical technician and critical care registered or licensed vocational nurse.

Bell said he feels fortunate the JBSA-Randolph AFAS has been approved for scholarships through the competitive program, which is offered throughout the Air Force.

“This is the fourth year for me as Air Force Aid Society officer, and we’ve gotten grants every single year,” he said.

The program enhances the Air Force mission, Wagoner-Gates said.

“This program is important because it offers spouses training and employment opportunities that increase overall family financial stability and reduces financial burden on the service member,” she said.

Ten scholarships will be awarded this year at JBSA-Lackland, Wagoner-Gates said. Last year, JBSA-Lackland offered 10 certified nursing assistant training scholarships.

Applications are available at the JBSA-Lackland M&FRC, 2160 Kenly Ave. Interested spouses should contact the M&FRC at 671-3722 and schedule an interview. The deadline to apply for the scholarship program is Feb. 24.

At JBSA-Randolph, 10 scholarships will also be awarded, Bell said. Last year, the AFAS office presented six scholarships to spouses for a legal secretary certificate course. In 2014 and 2015, 10 scholarships allowed spouses to seek opportunities as fitness trainers.

Deadline for applications – which are available at the M&FRC, 555 F Street West – is no later than 4 p.m. March 3. They may be dropped off at the M&FRC or sent by email to john.bell.25@us.af.mil. For more information, call 652-5321.