Sioux City, Iowa --
The Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing hosted a first of its kind career fair in Sioux City, Iowa this week.
Students from Sioux City schools and surrounding communities were present at the career fair to learn about the different positions available at the 185th ARW and speak with experienced military members about them.
Service members on base set up tables representing their Air Force Specialties. Each table showed details about the job, including the benefits to joining the Air Guard.
“We decided to do a career fair because in the Air National Guard, there are a lot of job opportunities and experiences that can be used on the civilian side as well as military,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Carlson, the base’s Deputy Support Group Commander. “We want people to understand that the military is a career and that the 185th has many jobs available.”
The typical responsibility of a guard member requires drill attendance each month as well as two weeks of training a year. Being a part of the Air Guard allows members to attend college or have a full time civilian job.
The attendees had the opportunity to explore a U.S. Air Force KC 135 Stratotanker in the unit’s main hangar where the event took place. Guests delved into details about traditional careers in aviation operations as well as aircraft maintenance. Jobs including medical, logistics, supply, finance, cyber security, construction and more were on display.
According to Carlson, certain careers offer a sign on bonus in addition to other benefits of being a guardsman.
The students learned how paid technical training is available to guard members. Not only do service members get paid to train for their career, they can also receive tuition assistance for undergraduate college and trade schools. National Guard members in the state of Iowa can get 100% state tuition assistance to Iowa’s state universities and community colleges. Tuition assistance can be applied to Iowa private colleges as well. A financial counselor was available to answer any questions the students had.
Carlson said, along with receiving financial aid for school, military members can also obtain Tricare insurance.
During the career fair students interested in the ANG, were given the opportunity to request additional information on the wide variety of career fields.
“We are always looking to build that next generation,” said Carlson. “We need to make sure we have a continuous flow of people coming in so that we have time to pass the knowledge and skill sets.”
Each student left the base with a gift bag of items and pamphlets showcasing what the 185th ARW has to offer as well as knowledge of military careers.