No draft pick for Airmen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes
  • 95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
"Football country" was at frenzy April 25 as National Football League teams selected new members for their rosters. Each team selected players it needs, such as quarterbacks, linebackers, linemen, receivers and more. 

Detroit Lions needed a quarterback so they got Matthew Stafford, from University of Georgia. St. Louis Rams selected offensive tackle Jason Smith, from Baylor University, while Kansas City Chiefs drafted defensive end Tyson Jackson, from Louisiana State University. Some NFL teams paid handsomely to the best new prospects to lift their team standings -- specifically Stafford's $41.7 million in guaranteed money, which is the most in NFL history. (I still think New York Jets got the best deal with quarterback Mark Sanchez, from University of Southern California.) 

This had me thinking about the Air Force's "new drafts." Prior to basic military training, the Air Force recruits America's men and women to join its team. They undergo various tests, including Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and physical examination tests. 

For these tests, do we know if they are the best of the best? I think not. However, the Air Force welcomes the men and women who want to serve. Some of these Air Force recruits were not the best in physical shape or the smartest. But just by them volunteering to serve their country proves one thing, they have a loyalty to their country and an unnerving bravery to defend freedom. 

The Air Force doesn't recruit the best, they produce them. Each one is formed with the service's core values -- Integrity first, Service before self and Excellence in all we do.
Through basic military training, these recruits learn to be team players. Technical schools give them the knowledge to perform their missions. Their duty stations provide them the experience. Through it all, they become the best of the best. 

They are the simplest but the most important component of the Air Force. They are the backbone of why I think the Air Force is the No. 1 team for the "World Air Force League," if there is one. 

When they signed up, they didn't yearn for fame and fortune. Heck, they only receive salary, housing and uniform allowances, medical, dental and educational benefits. They aren't guaranteed millions of dollars, but wearing the uniform affords them the use of their new title -- Airman.