Hiring an ART - Pt 1: Where it begins

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christian J. Michael
  • 22nd Air Force Public Affairs
This is part 1 of 3 in a series on the Air Reserve Technician program and hiring process. 

Air Reserve Technicians are mainstays of continuity and experience for the Air Force Reserve, running unit missions and weapon systems during the month while traditional reservists are away. Without them, daily operations would cease and unit training assemblies in Reserve units would have no enduring coordination.

The ART program and hiring process have evolved in recent years, with new emphasis on the need for ARTs and the advent of specialized programs to fill empty slots. To find ARTs, recruiters look first within the Air Force ranks.

"My primary focus has been on recruiting Air Force Reserve members who are traditional reservists and on active duty Air Force who are interested in the stability of an ART position," said Master Sgt. David Beach, ART recruiter for Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

Historically, active-duty members were most qualified for ART positions. Now, through a new program, the Reserve prepares traditional reservists for the same demands. This allowed all Reserve recruiters access to a greater pool of Airmen from which to recruit.

"The implementation of the Seasoning Training Program has offered ART opportunities to many TR members who, in the past, would not have been qualified," said Sergeant Beach.

Reserve recruiters can now employ even more qualified or would-be qualified applicants in every area of the Reserve mission. ART-specific recruiters are a new commodity for the Reserve and, according to Master Sgt. William Hose, ART recruiter for Westover ARB, Mass., the program has worked well.

"I have had a very good success rate in the Northeast United States," said Sergeant Hose. "Most people that meet the qualifications for these positions ... have been selected for hire. We have 12 recruiters across the country that are having the same types of reactions to our efforts. We are seeing that ART Recruiters are making things happen to meet the needs of the Wings we're here to support."

Making things happen has included not only recruiting the ARTs, but also going between the hirers, the hirees and everyone in between.

"The ART recruiter position has allowed for the establishment of a link between applicants and hiring officials," said Sergeant Hose. "This allows the ART recruiter to match qualified applicants with the needs of the Air Force Reserve. A secondary benefit has been the ART recruiter's ability to act as the subject matter expert for the wing commander and hiring officials."

The ART hiring process has a short list of agencies an applicant's package will go through. While the Reserve has evolved substantially over the years, the program for gaining ARTs has remained largely the same. Now with ART positions undermanned, a new focus has been turned to gaining more ARTs for the fight.

"Do you think a wing commander would find it acceptable for his wing manning to be at only 20 percent?" asked Senior Master Sgt. Kelly Garrett, ART Recruiter superintendent at Robins AFB. "Wing commanders love us because we're out there filling these positions that keep their units running."

Being the backbone of a Reserve unit has many benefits recruiters like Sergeant Beach use to find attract new ARTs.

"Positive aspects of being an ART include the ability to continue serving as a member of the Air Force Reserve with the flexibility of choosing what base to serve at," said Sergeant Beach. "Also, there's the opportunity to become part of the local community without having to PCS every three years. Active duty Air Force members are attracted to the standardized deployment schedules and rotations offered by the Air Force Reserve."

ARTs may wear uniforms every day and abide by customs and courtesies, but they are paid on a civilian payscale and abide by civilian employment regulations. That includes the ability to move where and when an ART wants, or to leave the ART service as desired.

To find out more about the ART hiring process, read part 2 of 3, Hiring an ART: Application