by michele sprague
w r i t e s t y l i n g s
content © 2017. portfolio.michelesprague.com. all rights reserved.
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Portraits of Kelly’s Soldiers/Citizens
Ah…weekends. Time to get away from the responsibilities of work, spend quality time with family and friends, and make headway on that growing list of household chores.
For members of the United States Reserve Forces, it’s also time to fulfill their military obligations. One weekend each month they’re required to participate in aweekend drill. And once a year, they’re required to report to military training for at least two weeks.
In some ways, the Reservists can be compared to Kelly temporary employees. They fill-in so active members of the Armed Forces can take time off. They train and prepare to perform the responsibilities of full-time military personnel. And they’re extra personnel to handle projects and other assignments.
Most importantly, the Reservists serve the United States and consistently work at staying in a high state of readiness in case crisis strikes. Essentially, they’re handling two careers, and they’re committed to performing both well.
Chief Petty Officer
United States Coast Guard Reserve
Manager of Human Resources
Major Markets Division
After completing four years of active duty in the Coast Guard, Mark Behe didn’t waste any time joining the Coast Guard Reserve. He signed up the next day.
“It may sound cliché, but I love giving back to my country,” Behe said.
Behe’s Reserve experience includes helping people who are in distress on the water, pollution incidents, law enforcement incidents, providing public education and awareness, and other miscellaneous responsibilities.
“The Reserve is not a cold war dinosaur,” Behe said. “It’s day-in and day-out missions, like taking care of people in cases of emergency.”
Currently, Behe coordinates search and rescue activities between the United States and Canada for 11 Coast Guard stations, a Coast Guard air station and two cutters in western Lake Erie, Lake St.Clair, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay. He operates out of the Coast Guard Group Detroit office, which monitors maritime operations in those areas.
Recently, his efforts helped save three lives when a boat sank in Lake Huron near Tawas, Michigan. According to Behe, one person had seizures in the water. The people were rescued, taken to the hospital, and all of them are fine.
"Those kinds of things are really rewarding," Behe said. "On the other hand, there are times when you can't save somenody, even after you've done what you could."
Behe said during a typical weekend drill he responds to as many as 24 boating incidents. Many of these could be avoided, he stressed, if people would take boating safety classes offered by the Coast Guard Auxillary.
"I can't emphasize enough the importance of boater's education, he said. "That could prevent a lot of the grief that a lot of people go through."
And his wife, Andrea [Behe], who is director of Corporate Accounts at Kelly headquarters, is involved is the Coast Guard Reserve too.
Andrea acts as ombudsman for his unit. She's civilian appointed at the request of the Coast Guard commanding officer.
"I assist in pulling the families together and am a support for them if their spouses are deployed for any type of war crisis," Andrea said, adding that she helps with morale too.
Also, she's the liaison between the unit command and the Reservists' families. If they have questions regarding the Reserve and its policies, or they need counseling, Andrea will get answers for them or direct them to people who can help.
But that's not all. Andrea believes it's important for the Reservists and their families to get to know and support each other. That's why she plans social functions for the Reservists and their families.
"The Reserve is sort of like an extended family," Mark said. "We look out for each other, and we help each other when we can."
United States Navy Reserve
District Manager of the Memphis, Tennessee and Olive and Batesville, Mississippi Kelly offices
Arno Justman believes everyone needs to give something back to his/her country.
"Whether it's the military, a habitat for the homeless, food drives, or whatever, everyone ought to contribute something," Justman said.
So after nine years of active duty in the Navy, it seemed natural for him to enlist in the Navy Reserve.
Without missing a beat, Justman made arrangements for the transition while he was engaged in active duty.
"The Navy has put so much money and resources into training me as an aviator, I feel it's a good way for me to contribute that training time back to the country," he said.
Justman is continuing the same job he did while on active duty. He's a helicopter pilot, specializing in anti-submarine warfare.
And he spends more time training in the Reserve than the typial weekend drill per month. That's because he's an aviator, and pilots are required to log a minimum of 100 hours of annual flight time. So, Justman flies four or five times a month in addition to flying weekend drills.
"They keep me flying and keep my skills honed just in case war breaks out, and they need to draw Reserves out quickly," Justman said. "I'm like a part that is on the shelf. They can take me out of inventory, and I'm 100 percent coiled and ready to go."
The extra time Justman spends logging flight hours is similar to his weekend drills. He goes on missions to practice flying proficiency and warfare. Also, he spends time maintaining his flying proficiency by completing requirements outlined by the Navy. Some exercises include practicing night instrument approaches and emergency flights, and dropping one torpedo on a range annually.
It's a real fulfilling way to spend your spare time. You can change out of your business suit into a flight suit, and you can go out and support your country," Justman said, admitting he thoroughly enjoys flying helicopters.
In the past, Justman's annual training included being a functional maintenance check pilot, who piloted planes on test flights after they came out of maintenance. He also served as a flight instructor and standardization pilot. That was when he lived in California. Since moving to Memphis, Tennessee, and away from a nearby naval based, Justman's responsibilities are mostly administrative.
But Justman still enjoys being part of the Navy and the team camaraderie, which he said is something that most military people miss when they leave the service.
"I love the Navy," Justman emphasized. "The Reserve is a good way for me to pursue another career and still keep my contacts with the Navy."
United States Air Force Reserve
Tacoma, Washington, Kelly office
When people think of Karen Sedlack's lifestyle, the word "carefree" probably does not come to mind. She balances a military career with the Air Force Reserve, a career with Kelly that demands overtime, and a family that includes three boys who seem to be active in just about everything.
"The monthly Reserve drill weekends seem to come around pretty quick," she said.
"By the time the [drill] weekend gets here I end up working 12 straight days, plus a lot of overtime. So, by the time I have a weekend off I'm a little grumpy."
Sedlack's role in the Reserve is protocol assistant, and she performs administrative work for the winged commander, who is in charge of all the units at McChord Air Force Base in Washington. The units include aero-medical, aircraft maintenance, flying and aerial port.
"These units support the active Reserve," she said. "We keep everything mobilized and ready to go."
And Sedlack is no stranger to the Air Force. She served six years of active duty performing administrative work, then took a six-year break before joining the Air Force Reserve.
"When I got off of active duty I didn't know about the Reserve forces," Sedlacksaid, "or I probably would have joined as soon as I got off active duty."
She learned about the Reserve through an advertisement in the newspaper and decided it would be a great way to support her country and have a part-time job.
"It is important that everyone does his or her part," she said. If no one is willing to put himself or herself on the line, we could be in trouble when a crisis arises."
Sedlack's family supports her role in the Reserve, especially her husband George, a retired chief master sergeant of the Air Force Reserve. And they're encouraging their 17-year-old son to join too.
Sedlack admits it's tough balancing three demanding roles, but she feels she's playing an important role toward defending her country.
"The Reserve gives me a chance to meet people from all walks of life that I wouldn't have the opportunity to meet otherwise—lawyers, doctors, chief engineers, and pilots for civilian airlines," she said. "No matter how diverse the backgrounds of the Reserve members, we come together with a common goal. That's rewarding."
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