News | Jan. 30, 2017

“…I really missed the military…”

By Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams 940th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

After a two-year break-in-service, Airman 1st Class Rachel A. Davis enlisted in the Air Force Reserve.


Davis originally enlisted in the Navy in 2010 and served as an aviation boatswains mate handler on the USS Carl Vinson.


“I was in charge of all moving parts on the flight deck,” Davis said.


Her duties included making sure aircraft were secured to the deck after landing, parking aircraft, directing pilots and resetting the flight deck each night in preparation for the next morning, similar to a crew chief in the Air Force.


She decided to separate from the Navy after completing four years of service and becoming a new mother. Davis then got a job in a dental office and realized how much she enjoyed it.


Over the next two years, she went back to school to become a dental assistant and is now pursuing dentistry even further, taking the prerequisites to become a hygienist.


Davis also works as a student personnel assistant, outreach coordinator at American River College’s Veterans Resource Center in Sacramento, California. She processes benefits and meets with organizations to better serve veterans on campus and in the community.


“It’s very fulfilling when you help somebody and make sure they’re taking care of themselves mentally, financially and in all aspects of their life,” Davis said.


Even though she had a full plate, working and going to school full-time, she still felt something was missing.


“In those two years, I realized I really missed the military,” she said. “I missed the camaraderie with my shipmates, as well as the stability, the routine and just being a part of something bigger. I wanted to come back and continue serving.”


One day while working at the VRC, she came across an Air Force Reserve recruiter’s card and quickly decided to enlist.


“I went in on a Thursday and signed my contract four days later,” she said.


Now Davis is awaiting technical training to become a logistics planner with the 940th Logistics Readiness Squadron here.


While that’s the plan for now, Davis is still hoping to connect her passion for dentistry with the military someday, possibly in an officer’s capacity.


Her goal was originally to become a dental hygienist officer, but that position isn’t offered to officers in the Air Force as it is in the Navy. She hasn’t decided whether she wants to follow the path toward being a dental hygienist, becoming a dentist or another officer position.


“I’m still thinking about it,” she said.


Although she has had to do some adjusting with her goals and simply getting used to another branch of military, Davis remains positive about change and encourages others who transfer to do the same.


“Welcome the change,” she said. “It’s different. Take the time to study and learn the ranks, tradition and culture.”


For Davis, re-enlisting in the military has brought back a piece of happiness to her life.


“I’m a lot happier now that I’m in,” Davis said. “Because I know I’m contributing to my life, as well as the country, and I enjoy that.”

(Each month, we will share a story of a reservist through a photo, simple quote or article. The goal of this project, similar to the 9th Public Affairs' Faces of Beale, is to learn more about Citizen Airmen. Whether traditional or full-time, every reservist has a unique story and adds to what makes us part of the world's greatest Air Force.)