In-Service Recruiters offer options when separating

Master Sgts. John Fusco, left, and Michael Perkins, in-service recruiters assigned to the 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron, wait to meet with potential candidates during the 2017 Career Symposium at the Soundside Club, Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2017. In-service recruiters provide Airmen separating from active duty with information on opportunities and benefits offered in the Air Force Reserves. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Parkinson)

Master Sgts. John Fusco, left, and Michael Perkins, in-service recruiters assigned to the 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron, wait to meet with potential candidates during the 2017 Career Symposium at the Soundside Club, Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2017. In-service recruiters provide Airmen separating from active duty with information on opportunities and benefits offered in the Air Force Reserves. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Parkinson)

Master Sgt. John Fusco, an in-service recruiter assigned to the 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron, meets with potential candidates during the 2017 Career Symposium at the Soundside Club, Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2017. In-service recruiters are career counselors who meet with Airmen separating from active duty and offer opportunities within the Air force Reserves (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Parkinson)

Master Sgt. John Fusco, an in-service recruiter assigned to the 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron, meets with potential candidates during the 2017 Career Symposium at the Soundside Club, Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2017. In-service recruiters are career counselors who meet with Airmen separating from active duty and offer opportunities within the Air force Reserves (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Parkinson)

Master Sgt. Michael Perkins, an in-service recruiter assigned to the 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron, meets with a potential candidate during the 2017 Career Symposium at the Soundside Club, Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2017. In-service recruiters provide Airmen separating from active duty with information on opportunities and benefits offered in the Air Force Reserves. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Parkinson)

Master Sgt. Michael Perkins, an in-service recruiter assigned to the 1st Special Operations Force Support Squadron, meets with a potential candidate during the 2017 Career Symposium at the Soundside Club, Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 24, 2017. In-service recruiters provide Airmen separating from active duty with information on opportunities and benefits offered in the Air Force Reserves. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Parkinson)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Airmen who plan to separate, or are looking into leaving active duty but wish to continue their military service, can transition into the Air Force Reserves with the help of the in-service recruiters, here.

Master Sgts. John Fusco and Michael Perkins are the in-service recruiters for Hurlburt and are here to help those separating make the best possible decision.

“We are career counselors, we are here to help people who are making the transition off of active duty, and we’re here to brief them on the benefits they could be missing out on,” Perkins said. “There are many benefits people could take advantage of if they transfer to an Air Reserve Component that they’re not aware of, and it’s our job to make sure they understand what those benefits are.”

In many cases, the AFR is the right fit for somebody who is separating, and sometimes it is not.

“We want those Airmen who want to continue their service,” Perkins said. “If they don’t want to continue their service, we don’t want them.
The last thing we want to do is send a commander somebody who they’re going to have to try to find out how to get rid of.”

During a typical visit with an in-service recruiter, some of the topics they may discuss include benefits and types of service.

“Essentially you receive all the benefits you get on active duty in the reserves,” Fusco said. “[For example], you have to pay for health insurance in the reserves, but it is incredibly discounted compared to the coverage you’d get being just a civilian.”

Fusco said that some benefits reserve members are still able to take advantage of include thrift savings plan, service members group life insurance, tuition assistance, and morale welfare and recreation services.

“Retirement is a huge [benefit],” said Perkins. “Particularly in this day and age when a lot of people rely on personal investments because they are funding their own retirements.”

Additionally, the in-service recruiters like to let members know of their options when it comes to serving traditional reserve or active guard reserve.

“I think one of the intangible benefits that a lot of in-service recruiters don’t talk about enough is the autonomy they have in the Air Force Reserve,” Perkins said. “Believe it or not you can do it full-time or you can do it part-time, that’s up to you.”

Airmen considering separating from active duty but would like to continue their service to the Air Force, can contact the in-service recruiters at (850) 884-5200 or (850) 884-2656.

“We have an open-door policy for anybody who is even considering getting off active duty, whether they be two years away or six months away,” Perkins said. “We like people to make appointments because we are so busy, but unless we got somebody sitting in front of us, we’re going to make the time for them.”