Reserve Airman reenlists at historic World War II Memorial

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Erin Karl

Tech. Sgt. Alicia Lofton experienced a special opportunity for her reenlistment Jan. 23, 2020. Lofton, an individual mobilization augmentee, held her ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, west of Honolulu, Hawaii. Col. Amy Boehle, commander of Headquarters Individual Readiness and Integration Organization, was the presiding officer.

“Being able to hold up my right hand and say the oath at the site of the Pearl Harbor attack was very important to me,” said Lofton. “I wanted to honor the sacrifice of those who perished in service to our country.”

The USS Arizona Memorial was built in 1962 on top of, but not touching, the battleship that was bombed during the Japanese attack Dec. 7, 1941. More than 1,100 sailors died in the attack, from which about 900 could not be recovered from the ship that still remains on the bottom of Pearl Harbor due to irreparable damage.

“Tech. Sgt. Lofton’s reenlistment ceremony was not only a major highlight of my visit to Detachment 2, but an honor for me as the officiating officer,” said Boehle.  “Administering the oath at the site of such a seminal event in U.S. history brought home the meaning of ‘Service before Self.’ The Air Force Reserve IMA program is lucky to have Airmen like Alicia who embody that sense of service.”

Although assigned as a reservist to Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, Lofton has been working at HQ RIO Detachment 2 as a Force Management technician for the last two years. She entered active duty in 2004 and joined the Air Force Reserve in 2010. This ceremony begins her reenlistment for six more years.

“Having the opportunity to serve fulfills me,” said Lofton. “I’m honored to be able to continue serving and to have been able to mark that continuation with a ceremony at such a significant location in our country’s history.”