Wanna change the Reserve? The Reserve Council can help

  • Published
  • By by Christian DeLuca
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Airmen who want to shape the laws and policies that govern the Air Force Reserve have an outlet that goes straight from the Freedom Wing to our nation’s capital.

Senior Master Sgt. Shawn Jones, a career advisor with the 514th Operations Group, serves on the Reserve Council of the Air Force Association, a select team of ten Citizen Airmen who advocate on behalf of the Air Force Reserve and their fellow reservists.

“If there is an Air Force Reserve law or policy that just grinds your gears, please reach out to me and tell me about it,” Jones said. “I’ll see if the council can do something,” Jones said.

The council’s purpose is to identify opportunities or obstacles facing reservists, research the issues and propose legislative solutions to improve the quality of life and quality of work in Air Force Reserve Command.

The council is chaired by Maj. Gen. Michael Kim, the mobilization assistant to the Chief of the Air Force Reserve, and has access to other senior leaders within the Reserve and the Air Force Association.

Most council members are competitively selected for a two-year term by the Reserve Policy Integration office at the Pentagon. They are selected based on merit, but the council is composed to represent a variety of ranks, career fields and duty statuses.

A one-year council seat is automatically appointed to the outgoing Air Force Reserve representative to the Air Force Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year, which is how Jones originally became involved with the council in 2014.

“I learned so much about the Air Force Reserve by sitting at the big table, listening to my fellow council members, having discussions with the AFRC commander and command chief and writing policy papers that would be used to influence legislation,” Jones said. “Without a doubt, being on the council was the best career-broadening opportunity I’ve experienced, and it made me realize that our senior leaders truly want to find solutions to the obstacles we face.”

After his one-year term on the council ended, Jones found he missed working on strategic-level projects. In 2016, he applied for a competitive two-year seat, and was selected.

“I was in sponge mode my first time on the council, just soaking up the knowledge and helping out however I could,” he said. “This time around, I’m really looking to make a tangible impact for the betterment of my fellow Citizen Airmen.”