Story by A1C Randall Burlingame on 04/06/2018For most Airmen at the 104th Fighter Wing in Westfield, Massachusetts, a career in the Air National Guard means a part-time commitment balanced with school or another job outside of the military. Senior Airman Michael C. Reynolds, 104th Medical Group aerospace medical technician and resident of Westfield, Massachusetts, works at the 104th FW in addition to attending Westfield State University as a pre-med student and working as a ski instructor in the winter.
Reynolds' eclectic collection of responsibilities serve as a stew of experiences he can draw from to achieve his goals as an Airman and a civilian career. Reynold's medical skills are needed both home on domestic operations and serving abroad.
"My Air Force training helps me in my academic classes and provides an opportunity to use my skills on the outside as an EMT if I choose to do so," said Reynolds. "As for my civilian experiences for growth, I would say that I've become more confident in my work."
The 21-year-old said some of his goals include deploying, getting accepted into an MD and Ph.D. program and commissioning as an officer in the Air Force.
"The experience I'll get from a deployment or supporting domestic operations, I can't get anywhere else," said Reynolds. "I would be working directly with the flight surgeons and doctors. I would be the second-hand man. I'll be attending to any medical emergencies, helping with medications and giving basic clinical care."
Reynolds said the experience and hands-on training provided by the ANG in conjunction with his classes at WSU are helping him feel more prepared for deployment, and he feels like he has all the appropriate tools at his disposal to achieve his goals.
"There's always room for improvement," said Reynolds. "You can always brush up on stuff to make sure you're top-notch ready to go, but through all the training and opportunities I've had here, I'm definitely up to the task."
Recently the 104th FW held training for Self-Aid and Buddy Care where Reynolds was one of the instructors showing other Airmen pressure bandaging, different ways to stop bleeding, opening airways and splinting. All of which are things he thinks are important for Airmen, especially to know so they can be prepared and potentially help save someone's life.
Reynolds has also gone away for specialized training called Expeditionary Medical Support. EMEDS training provides Airmen in various career fields, including medical, logistics and administration, the opportunity to work together in setting up a field hospital.
"It's a deployed setting down in San Antonio," said Reynolds. "It's hands-on trauma stuff."
The aspiring medical professional went on to describe his experiences and plans in one short career goal.
"Be there for the people who need it," said Reynolds. "Just point blank, be a good medic."