Education: hitting the books is a military bonus

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Matthew Reisdorf
  • 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office

Hitting the books, staying up late studying for an exam, and moving on to exciting new things in life is something that Senior Master Sgt. Amber Knight, 934th Force Support Squadron force development superintendent, here, enjoys helping ambitious Airmen accomplish.

“I’m from Minnesota so I was looking for opportunities to come back here and they had an opening in the education and training department,” Knight said. “So, I came up here and did some annual tour to learn what they do. I really liked the career field and the opportunity to have, what I feel like, is an impact on every Airman’s training.”

Knight’s partner in crime, Gina Johnson, 934 FSS education services specialist, thinks the same way. It turns out that she just fell into the job of being an education services specialist.

“I didn’t know what I had applied for when applying for this job,” Johnson said. “I was an active-duty spouse moving base to base. When we got somewhere and there was a job called education and training, I thought I’d give it a shot. It turned out to be something that I’m very passionate about.”

The benefits of free school are something that members of the military should take advantage of as much as they can. Service members put in the work, and they should reap the rewards, Knight said.

“I’ve been in for 23 years, and it doesn’t go without sacrifice,” she said. “We want everyone to know the benefits that are there for them because they deserve them. They are giving up their time, especially the people that deploy.”

Johnson enjoys the various meetings that she has with different service members. She is especially fond of drill weekends when she can help Airmen with questions about their different military benefits.

 “My favorite is the interaction with Airmen,” Johnson said. “I love drill weekends where we are taking care of our Airmen.”

Johnson’s passion for helping Airmen comes from her understanding of the trials and tribulations that service members go through.

“My passion comes from being a service member’s wife,” she said. “I’m also the mother of a service member, so I know the sacrifices service members make to get these benefits. I think what we provide is very important.”

Education has a unique role in the readiness of the members of the Air Force, Knight said.

“Education is vital,” she said. “It helps you to be better at your profession so that you may be proficient in your career field. It can really help not only in your job but also your overall development and critical thinking.”

Johnson and Knight help Airmen with accessing their various college benefits. They are also in charge of all the military on the job training requirements that all the different Air Force Specialty Codes have. There are over 50 different AFSC’s in the 934 AW alone, with a revolving training schedule that Johnson and Knight manage.

“Our job is to make everyone’s lives easier in regard to the training world,” Knight said. “Whether it’s a how-to-guide or a new checklist, we just try to make their portion of training as easy as possible.”

The members of the education and training office are eager to help anyone and everyone with their questions regarding college and training.

“Just come and talk to us,” Knight said. “That’s what we are here for. Like I said, you can’t have a ready force if you are not trained. We play a big part in the management of that.”