SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. — Standing before a crowd of thousands, 14 young men and women promised on Saturday to defend the U.S. and Michigan constitutions.
All of the 14 are now Student Flight members of the Michigan Air National Guard’s 127th Wing, which is based at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The 14 people were sworn in as new enlistees in the Michigan Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force by Col. Philip R. Sheridan, 127th Wing commander, just moments before the beginning of the flying portion of the 2014 Selfridge Open House & Air Show.
“And now, for one of the best parts of my job,” the wing commander said, before calling the group to attention and asking them to raise their right hands to repeat the oath of enlistment.
Over the next several months, each of the new Airmen will be departing for Basic Military Training and their various technical schools and will then be assigned to their respective squadrons around the 1,700-member 127th Wing.
Some of the new enlistees, such as Jordan Person and Kyle McGregor, are only a few months removed from high school. Person graduated from University Prep in Detroit; McGregor from Chelsea High School; both in June of this year. Person is interested in a career in mortuary sciences and hopes to attend Michigan State University. She set to begin a career in the Michigan Air National Guard as a member of the Services Flight of the 127th Force Support Squadron. Services Airmen are responsible for a variety of function, including mortuary affairs in a deployed setting. McGregor, whose father served in the Air Force, plans on a degree in criminal justice. He plans to serve as a Security Forces Airman in the Guard.
“There’s 100 different reasons why a person might decide to enlist,” said Tech. Sgt. Kevin Shirkey, a 127th Wing recruiter who helped coordinate Saturday’s enlistment ceremony.
The enlistment ceremony took place just minutes before the Misty Blue jump team - a southeast Michigan-based all-female parachute team - brought in a giant Star Spangled Banner as the Ladies of Liberty musical trio sang the National Anthem to open the air show. The theme of the air show was Women in Aviation and many of the aerial performers were women. The show was capped off by a performance by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels demonstration team.
Also enlisting Saturday was Xavier Lopez, a student at Macomb Community College who hopes to enter a nursing program either at Macomb or Oakland Community College. Lopez said enlisting will help pay for his education.
James Myatt spent 10 years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator. Now he’ll serve as an aircraft armaments specialist in the Michigan ANG.
“It’s a great way to continue my military career and continue to work toward a retirement,” he said.
For information on opportunities available in the Michigan Air National Guard, contact the 127th Wing recruiting office at 586-239-5511.
Story by Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton, 127th WIng Public Affairs, Michigan National Guard