Master Sgt. Jeff Womack (left) and 1st Lt. Jennifer Ferrer represented Randolph at the 2007 Fiesta celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rich McFadden) (Photo by Rich McFadden)
First Lt. Jennifer Ferrer (left center) joins other military ambassadors in saluting the official party from a float at the 2007 Fiesta celebration in downtown San Antonio. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rich McFadden) (Photo by Rich McFadden)
RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas —
Do you have what it takes to represent Randolph Air Force Base?
The search is under way for two ambassadors to represent the "Showplace of the Air Force" in the San Antonio community for 2008.
"Being an ambassador is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said 2007 Randolph Ambassador 1st Lt. Jennifer Ferrer of the Air Force Occupational Management Squadron. "It has been my honor to represent the base in this remarkable city this past year."
"The experiences and people I have met have been amazing," she said. "You don't really get the sense of appreciation that our nation has for what we do until you've been put in a public setting as a military representative. The amount of support we receive from everyone is overwhelming. From small children saluting you in a parade, to signs being held up thanking us, to elderly citizens with tears in their eyes as they tip their hats to you - it's very moving."
Randolph active-duty military and Department of Defense civilians are eligible to apply to be ambassadors. There is one male and one female position available.
As Randolph Ambassadors, selectees will be called upon to represent the base at a variety of activities throughout the year such as Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital visits, community parades, Fourth of July activities, Celebrate America's Military Week and receptions.
In addition, the 2008 Randolph Ambassadors will help kick off the 117th year of Fiesta that celebrates Texas' independence. Their duties during the annual 10-day Fiesta celebration play a large part in the military's outreach efforts in the community.
Ambassadors will be showcased at approximately 60 events between April 18-27.
"Many people think that being an Ambassador is all about Fiesta but it's so much more than that," said 2007 Randolph Ambassador Master Sgt. Jeff Womack of the Air Education and Training Command. "In addition to the many great Fiesta activities, this year we've had the opportunity to escort the Doolittle Raiders during their 65th annual reunion, participate in several small-town parades, and partake in the wreath laying ceremony in honor of President Lyndon B. Johnson's birthday."
Col. Richard Clark, 12th Flying Training Wing commander, said the ambassador program is a great opportunity for those who are interested.
"We are fortunate to live in a military-friendly city where people embrace and whole-heartedly support us," he said. "The ambassador program is an opportunity for us to express our appreciation to our surrounding communities and show them what Team Randolph members are made of."
Applicants must be at least 21 years old as of February 2008 and assigned to Randolph through September 2008. Candidates must also be nominated by their commanders or supervisors, with a letter of recommendation signed by their commander.
A selection panel will interview the candidates Dec. 7 and select two ambassadors based on appearance, bearing, communications skills and general knowledge of San Antonio and the Air Force. Applicants must be present for the panel interview.
All applicants are encouraged to coordinate with commanders and supervisors to ensure duty schedules will permit participation in all activities, and that no obligations, such as planned temporary duty assignments, school and other personal issues, will prevent them from performing ambassador duties.
Lieutenant Ferrer and Sergeant Womack said flexibility in one's schedule is essential to the ambassador program as well as dedication, motivation and commitment.
"Being selected as the 2007 Randolph Ambassador was a great thrill for me," said Sergeant Womack. "Having lived in San Antonio for a few years, I thought I knew the city and knew about Fiesta ... but I was wrong.
"In my role as an ambassador, I got to experience things and meet people I would have never dreamed of prior to my selection."
"As an ambassador you are the face of Randolph for the civilian population and they relate to us how much they appreciate all the Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines here in San Antonio," he said. "The experience is truly worth it."
Randolph members interested in applying as an ambassador can pick up an application at the 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs office in the west basement of the Taj Mahal, Building 100.
For more information, call the 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs office at 652-4407.