“I was one of those people who always knew they wanted to be in the Military.”
From the third grade on, Joan Loftis’ dream was to join the Service. She had a picture in her mind: Members of the Military were trustworthy, dependable and confident – all character traits she aspired to.
So immediately after high school, at the age of 18, Joan joined the Army as a full-time member. While she was impressed with her experiences during Army Basic Combat Training and thereafter, she felt she would not find her niche serving full time. After a year, she was honorably discharged.
Missing the military environment, Joan decided to join the Air National Guard in her home state of Oregon. In the Guard, Joan found the culture she had been seeking: a place where she could enjoy both a civilian and a military life.
“I have found that the Air National Guard provides me with a stable and secure environment – helping me to better understand myself and develop my individual potential.”
In the Air National Guard, Joan’s position is a unique one. While her Air National Guard job is as a human resource advisor – serving as a general mentor, advisor and leader to those she serves with – her civilian job is also with the Air National Guard, working for their Counterdrug Support Program, since 1992.
As a civilian, Joan’s job for the Air National Guard is to build a bridge between the Military and her community to help develop “cities of character.” In other words, her goal is to make all of the communities she serves drug-free environments.
Joan feels the Military has helped her develop a sense of pride and commitment to her state and community. But it’s the Military’s core values, such as “integrity,” “service before self” and “excellence in all we do” that have truly influenced Joan to get involved and strive to make a difference each and every day, in any way she can – in both her military and civilian lives.
“The Military is helping me to achieve my B.A. in Human Services, which I will use to give back to my community in the human services field after I retire from my Guard position.”
Joan attributes her success in life to her education. But she attributes her education to the tuition assistance she receives from the Air National Guard.
Classes in drug prevention, coalition development, parent enrichment, character building and positive youth development have enabled Joan to strengthen the drug-prevention program, her family environment and her communication skills.
“In the Air National Guard, the opportunity is there for you to take advantage of your experiences and broaden your skills and abilities – both in the Military and in your civilian job.”
Throughout Joan’s time in the Air National Guard, she has been relentlessly committed to fulfilling her responsibilities to the Military and her civilian job. And she does so seamlessly. This she attributes to the fact that she is truly passionate about what she does in both capacities of her life.
However, she also feels that this type of balance is something that is not just handed out. It’s something one must work for. As she puts it, “If you are willing to work to discover what you have to offer, the Air National Guard is the place for you. You will find a place that will allow you to discover your deep potential.”
Joan’s Military Career Timeline
- 1979: Surveillance operator
- 1983: Instructor weapons director technician
- 1984: System training program non-commissioned officer (NCO)
- 1989: Standard evaluation technician
- 1992: Non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of operations
- 1998: Human resource advisor in Oregon Air National Guard
- 2002: Human resource advisor in Oregon Air National Guard