The Key Spouse Program is an official
commander's program designed to address the needs of military families and
establish a sense of Air Force community. Your Key Spouse and Key Spouse Mentors
serve as liaisons by bridging communication gaps, providing informal support as
needed, and administering ongoing awareness of community resources. We
encourage you to visit this page frequently for Reserve Recruiting news
and information. To contact your Key Spouse, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also,
please visit Air Force Reserve Command
spouse group on Facebook as well as the Air Force Key Spouse Program.
Josh and Jennifer Gray are stationed in Atlanta, Ga., where Josh is analyst with the Eastern Recruiting Squadron. Jennifer is an early childhood education teacher at Tallapoosa Primary School. They have been married for 13 years and have two Jake, who is five, and Rhyan, who is one.
1. Best part of being the spouse of a Recruiting Service Airman?
The best part is the joy and pride I feel when I get to tell someone that my husband is in the United States Air Force. There is a lot of pride and joy in being a military spouse. As a recruiting spouse, I have seen just how thankful people are just to get the opportunity to serve in the military. To realize that your spouse is making that possible for them is a wonderful feeling. Also, there is a sense of family not only in recruiting but in the Air Force as a whole. For example, when Josh and I married, I was 19 years old and had never been away from our hometown. When we arrived to our first duty station together, there were numerous people there to lend a helping hand and be a friend. No matter where we have been stationed over the years, that sense of family has remained.
2. Most challenging part of being a Recruiting Service spouse?
The most challenging part definitely has been sharing my husband with everyone else. We have been in recruiting for over seven years. You learn very quickly that, as a recruiter, he must be available at the discretion of his applicants and all others involved in the recruiting process. This includes everyone, such as 18-year-olds, doctors, nurses, MEPS, flight chiefs, supervisors, and even commanders. This also includes, but is not limited to, phone calls at 4 a.m. to date nights and family vacations or outings being put on hold for a few minutes to even hours. I have definitely learned to make all of our schedules flexible.
3. What advice would you give to a new Recruiting Service spouse?
I would have to say getting involved and staying involved is a very important thing in recruiting. I have done numerous things to help. There have been times I was asked to speak with an applicant’s spouse just so the spouse could understand what it is like to be a military spouse. I have also stuffed envelopes, painted offices, organized events at schools for recruiters to attend, handed out flyers at parades while riding on floats, helped out at a Professional Bull Riders event, and even helped out with an Atlanta Braves event. There is always something you can get involved with. While some of the things are not glamorous, others are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and without my husband and recruiting, I could not have had the opportunity to do them. So, take advantage of the things available to you and enjoy them with your spouse and family. Also, learn to share your spouse, be flexible, and listen to them when they need to talk.
4. What is an activity or hobby that you enjoy?
I love spending time with my family, from my parents to my husband and kids and all in between. I love to go shopping with them or just spending a lazy day playing football in the yard. But most of all, I love traveling to places with them. When I do have free time to myself, I enjoy doing crafts; making things like wreaths, personalized growth charts, canvases, and scrapbooks.
5. After your spouse retires, what will you miss about being a military spouse?
One thing I will miss is getting to meet so many wonderful new and interesting people from all over the world. We have met so many friends over the years. It is wonderful to be able to talk with someone that really truly understands what you’re talking about and going through. Most of them we have stayed in contact with and get to see them from time to time. These wonderful people have helped us through both good and bad times. They are absolutely irreplaceable and hold a special place in our life! But, when it comes down to it retired or not, I will always be a military spouse!
AF Key Spouse Program
AFR Yellow Ribbon Program
AF Services by Installation