BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
2nd Lt. Brandon J. Kyle was a staff sergeant and traditional reservist at the 433rd Airlift Wing until he earned an officer's billet in the Individual Reserve through the Air Force Reserve's Deserving Airman program.
Kyle, who spent his first five years in the Air Force as an intelligence analyst, said he was supporting the 24th Air Force Joint Intelligence Operations Center on active duty orders when he responded to an all-call from HQ RIO Detachment 2 for the enlisted-to-officer program.
He viewed the opportunity as a way to enhance his Air Force experience and further his career. His grandfather and uncle were both Air Force non-commissioned officers, and Kyle thought of his commissioning as a way to enhance the legacy of his family’s military service.
”I saw a great opportunity to break a generational barrier for my family. I saw a chance to make my prior and current military family more proud of me. I saw a chance to improve,” said Kyle
The intelligence Airman said assembling his application package was easy. The hardest part, said Kyle, was waiting to hear back during the interview process, but in true “Deserving Airman” fashion, he knew he shouldn’t just slack off and wait for the results.
“I just continued along my enlisted career path during that time as if I was not going anywhere,” he said. “I figured I should continue doing the best I could, with what I had, where I was at during that time frame.”
Senior Master Sgt. Nanette K. Maglinao, HQ RIO Detachment 2 manager, said the Airman Commissioning Board Kyle applied to was the first of its kind for Detachment 2 IMA positions. He stood out in an extremely competitive field of 30 highly-qualified Airmen.
“He has definitely set the standard of a ‘deserving airman,’” said Maglinao.
In December 2014, word finally arrived that he had been selected to attend Officer Training School. Five months later, on May 5, he reported for duty at Maxwell Air Force Base.
Kyle said that as a former enlisted person many things, such as dress and appearance and military bearing, came naturally at OTS. He noted that the most difficult part was learning to balance his time between school work and additional duties, such as serving as squadron commander. However, he felt that if he applied the right amount of effort, kept an open heart and mind toward becoming a better leader, he would graduate as a second lietenant.
His attitude served him well and on July 10, he emerged from OTS a newly-minted Air Force officer, taking top academic honors for his flight in the process.
“It was a great experience that I would never do again,” said Kyle.
Next up for the second lieutenant is intelligence school at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, where he will learn the ins and outs of being and intelligence officer. After that, he will go to work for the U.S. Pacific Command Joint Intelligence Operations Center as an IMA.
“I’m looking forward to something different. This is another stage in life, another stone unturned, and I’m excited to augment the active duty,” he said.
IMAs are Air Force Reservists assigned to active-component units and government agencies. They are managed by Headquarters Individual Reservist Readiness and Integration Organization, located at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, and serve over 50 separate major commands, combatant commands and government agencies.
Unlike traditional Reservists, who are assigned to Reserve units that regularly perform duty together, IMAs work with their active-duty supervisors to create a custom duty schedule that helps their unit meet mission requirements.
To learn more about the Individual Reserve, visit www.arpc.afrc.af.mil/home/HQRIO.aspx.