INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --
Throughout their careers, Airmen can find themselves in positions to make tough decisions. To help them understand every aspect of a decision before it's made, they have the option to talk with a career advisor.
At Incirlik Air Base, Senior Master Sgt. Ouida Daniels took the special-duty assignment to help. As the career advisor, she helps Airmen across the base by helping find special duties in their career fields, explaining how cross training works and the eligibility requirements to cross train, relaying the options one has when separating from the Air Force, and showing where to find information on writing resumes and other skills.
"I tell them from the beginning that I can't make their decisions for them," said Daniels. "I put out all their options and things they should think about; but I tell them, 'This is your choice.'"
For many career changes, an Airman needs additional resources or requires coordination with a certain person or organization. In those cases, Daniels helps by connecting the Airman with the person or office that can best assist.
"If someone is thinking about getting out of the Air Force, I can put them in contact with the right (points of contact) at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. If they're thinking about going Guard or Reserve, I can help them get into contact with the POCs for that," said Daniels. Assistance is also available "if they're thinking about doing the Blue to Green program. Any type of career assistance, I can help them or lead them to someone who can help."
Daniels said she understands not every job has a standard 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. mission. For those Airmen, she is willing to meet with them at their convenience.
"I do (walk-in and appointments) but if you are going to just come in, call first before you come by just to make sure that I'm here," said Daniels. "If you can't get in here during normal duty hours, you can call me to let me know and I can meet you after duty hours."
With Airmen who are thinking about separating, in addition to linking them with the A&FRC for the resources they offer, she also tells them about the benefits of becoming a Guardsman or Reservist.
"Our Guard and Reserve recruiters are at Aviano (Air Force Base, Italy) and (Royal Air Force) Lakenheath, (England); but I let them know that if they are thinking about separating, going Guard or Reserve is a good option because you get to keep your benefits. You keep your education benefits and many of the benefits you have while you're active duty."
Oftentimes Daniels said she encounters Airmen who know what they want, but don't know the requirements to do it. With her help, Airmen can find requirements for an assignment or program and take action.
"I can help them to know all of their options. I can show them things that are out there they don't know about," said Daniels. "For example, overseas retraining is a little different than being stateside because overseas there is a window you have to meet, which is usually the 15th through the ninth month before you leave, and many Airman don't know about that."
Daniels said she is happy she took on this special duty because she likes to help Airmen.
"I like interacting with Airmen and helping them out. It's a good feeling when you are able to help someone out and they walk out smiling," she said. "Being a career assistance advisor is a good position. If you like helping people out, this is the job."
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