LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE – EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — On a sunny January afternoon, Jennie Ines was standing outside the Gordon Conference Center, waiting patiently for someone to exit. Specifically, she was waiting for Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space, to ask him a question that would normally be out of range for most people: “Would you swear me in to the United States Air Force Reserve?”
The story began in December 2015 outside the Exchange at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Airman First Class Eric Ines, an Air National guardsman who recently graduated from the Information Management Technical School at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, was shopping with his father and sister Jennie while on leave and en-route to his first duty station. At first sight of Greaves approaching him, the Airman immediately snapped to attention to greet the three-star general.
Following a series of exchanges, the younger Ines asked the general what it is like to serve in the Air Force. Greaves took the time to give his opinion of serving in the military, discussing the positives and the challenges that are faced through maintaining a balance of work and family.
What followed next included a tour of the Schriever Space Complex by the SMC commander with the Ines family. The tour concluded at the new historical display of Gen. Bernard Schriever, considered the father of military space, to try to connect from the past to the present and instill in Airman Ines his new role in the Total Force Concept of today’s military.
Unbeknownst to Greaves, the younger Ines took the tour and conversations to heart and decided to enlist and serve alongside her brother in the Air Force Reserve. She then contacted Master Sgt. Charles Wandzilak, an Air Force Reserve recruiter with the 61st Force Support Squadron at Los Angeles AFB, took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and selected Security Forces as her career field of choice.
She received her first assignment to the 452nd Security Forces Squadron at March Air Reserve Base, California. Only one detail remained for her to begin her journey–the enlistment ceremony into the Air Force Reserve.
Ines remembered the conversation with Greaves, his insight and openness in taking the time to discuss the Air Force and decided she wanted him to swear her in on her enlistment. As Greaves exited the Gordon Conference Center following a luncheon, he recognized Ines and walked over to greet her. Much to his surprise, the new recruit asked Greaves to take time out of his busy schedule and do her the honor of enlisting her into the service.
On Jan. 21, the William Maikish conference room was filled with men and women from throughout SMC; enlisted, officers, contractors and civilians gathered together to witness Ines “solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States” and become the Air Force’s newest Airman.
“What you’ve done is pledge your support, not to me, not to them … but an oath to defend the Constitution — an oath to do what is right in the interest of the nation,” said Greaves as he explained the purpose of the enlistment oath to Ines.
With some parting words, photos and a new mentor, Ines begins her journey of serving alongside fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines to defend this nation.