DRIVE-ing opportunity

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Trenten Walters
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force and Space Force are growing a program that gives motivated Airmen and Guardians, who were medically discharged from Air Force and Space Force Accession Programs, such as technical training units, college ROTC programs and the Air Force Academy, a second chance to continue their service in a different capacity.

The Develop, Redistribute, Improve, Vault, Expose (DRIVE) program aims to place Airmen and Guardians, who are medically discharged with unique skills, into historically hard to fill civilian positions across the Air Force and Space Force, benefiting the individual and the career field.

Introduced in 2020, the 737th Training Support Squadron used the program to transition trainees who were medically disqualified to civilian positions. Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, Texas has now developed a two-day course where DRIVE candidates learn interview skills, how to use writing software and write a resume.

“These young Airmen and Guardians can find themselves medically disqualified by no fault of their own,” said Ken Journey, Air Force Personnel Center DRIVE program manager. “If they still have the desire to serve, and are somewhat flexible, then I can find them careers as an Air Force or Space Force civilian.”

Once an individual is deemed a qualified DRIVE candidate by their organization, they will then send their information, such as resumes, transcripts and certifications, to the Air Force Personnel Center DRIVE program manager. The program manager will then contact the individual about options and willingness to relocate and will begin marketing the individual’s skillset to career field teams.

Hiring managers that may have entry-level direct hiring authority (DHA) Air Force Civilian jobs that can be filled with DRIVE Candidates contact Ken Journey.

“I use the candidate's resume to match them to the descriptions of direct hiring authority positions to see where they would be a good fit,” said Journey. “We actually placed our fourth person at Keesler recently.”

Every year, the Air Force and Space Force medically separate thousands of Airmen and Guardians, who have already been vetted, exposed to the Air Force and Space Force culture, and have security clearances. Additionally, some of the Airmen and Guardians brought with them higher education degrees, certifications and previous work experience.

“It was really hard for me when I was put on medical hold while I was in basic training,” said Daniel Jordan, 336th Training Squadron software and development operations instructor. “I was in the DRIVE program for about five months before I landed this position. It’s great to have a program that has provided me and so many others, who want to serve, a second chance.”