RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
Air Force members scheduled to separate from active-duty service can still find interesting options available to them in the Air Force Reserve.
Tech. Sgt. Gil Rendon is the new in-service recruiter at Randolph Air Force Base and talks regularly with Airmen who, although mulling separation, are valuable assets to the Air Force. Sergeant Rendon's reach also includes Lackland AFB and Brooks City Base.
"An Airman who just completed several years of service can be invaluable to other Reservists who might not have that same experience," Sergeant Rendon said. "My first question to people I talk with is, 'Do you have a plan and do you have a backup plan?' If they do, that's great and if they don't, I share with them some options that involve the Reserve."
Sergeant Rendon typically meets with Airmen who are inside 180 days from separation. Two methods of transitioning from active duty service to Reserve duty, "Palace Chase" and "Palace Front," are highlighted at his briefings.
With Palace Chase, Airmen can qualify for an early exit from active service provided they have completed a predesignated amount of their service obligation.
The Palace Front route can be taken by Airmen who have already completed their service obligation and are interested in continuing service on a less-involved basis.
"Many people are simply not ready to separate completely and there are others who stay out for a while and decide they miss it," Sergeant Rendon said. "Some people already know exactly what they want and there is no pressure to make any decision about their future. What I want and what the Air Force Reserve wants is to provide an opportunity for people to ultimately be able to make an informed decision."
Sergeant Rendon spent nine years on active duty serving with security forces and as a military training instructor before using Palace Front to transition to the Reserve. He has been a recruiter since 2006 and enjoys sharing with others the opportunities in the Air Force Reserve.
There are many Reservists in each of the nine major commands under the Air Force umbrella. More than 80,000 members of the Reserve currently serve. Over 65 percent are unit Reservists who carry out one weekend a month and two weeks of service per year.
Sergeant Rendon said the Air Force Reserve benefits tremendously when Airmen with active duty experience choose to join, because they bring a lot of real-world experience and are fully qualified.
"All I want is to share a few options with people and let them make an educated decision," he said. "There are good benefits that many Airmen are not aware of including the new TRICARE Reserve Select insurance, competitive pay rates and continuation of service to their country."
Sergeant Rendon said it is not uncommon for Airmen to join the Reserve and cross-train, picking up a second Air Force specialty code.
Several possibilities are open for discussion at his office in Room 103 of Building 399. People interested in Palace Chase and Palace Front information can contact Sergeant Rendon at 652-7532 or by e-mail at email@example.com.