Staff Sgt. Roland Ryan has been assigned to the Air Force recruiting office, located at 2909 Lakewood Village Drive in North Little Rock.
Originally from Truxton New York, Ryan enlisted in the Air Force in 2008 and has been in Arkansas for the past six years.
Stationed at the Little Rock Air Force Base, Ryan was an aircraft engine mechanic for five and a half of those years.
"I worked on the C130 engines, so whenever there was an issue, I would repair it so that the plane could [function properly]," said Ryan who also became an instructor to other mechanics on the base.
"I enjoyed teaching them," said Ryan, "I would get up, work on planes, [I] got to work with great co-workers and then I would get my lesson plan ready and teach the lesson I had to teach that day."
When many people think about the Air Force, they automatically assume it has to do with flying or jumping out of planes.
Ryan says this isn’t really the case.
"The planes do interest people, but not everyone flies. Only a small percentage of people fly," explained Ryan, "If you take an airport and attach a small city to it, that’s kind of what an Air Force Base consists of and the kind of jobs you are likely to see."
The Air Force provides over 140 different types of jobs from aircraft maintenance and civil engineers to law enforcement and medical positions.
Ryan told the Log Cabin that the reason he joined the Air Force was for the educational benefits. He is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in business administration.
"Right now, it helps me in the Air Force, but later on in life I’d like to own my own business," said Ryan.
According to Ryan, the educational benefits are the number one reason people join the Air Force.
"Education is important to us. We are not going to hold people back from being able to take advantage of the benefits that the air force offers. If people want to work on their schooling, they are be able to get the degree they want and they’re not going to have to pay for it," Ryan said.
Ryan went on to explain that the base even has it’s own community college were classes can be taken that are transferable to any college a person would like to go.
"If they take seven classes on their own after their first year or so in the Air Force, they’re going to have an associates degree," said Ryan.
For 2018, the Air Force Recruiting Service is hiring over 27,000 new Airmen.
An emphasis is on recruiting people with no prior military service into one of about 140 enlisted career opportunities.
The minimum score a candidate must make on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a 31 with a high school diploma, or a 50 with a GED diploma.
Individuals can enlist without either, but their scores must be higher. The higher they score, the more jobs they’re going to qualify for.
Since being assigned in August, Staff Sgt. Ryan has recruited about fifteen individuals into the Air Force.
Ryan says that he has even sent one as far as basic training at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.
For more information about Air Force opportunities, please contact Staff Sgt. Roland Ryan at 501-398-2731.