Kaylan James
AirForce logo Enlisted

Staff Sergeant

Kaylan James

Aerospace Medical Service—Flight & Operational Medical Technician

Staff Sgt. Kaylan James has worn many hats throughout her life. She has been a police officer, a beauty pageant contestant and even a gymnastics coach. Of all the titles she’s held, the one she’s most proud of is “Airman.”

"Whenever you go to the doctor and get your vital signs and talk to the technicians before you see the doctor, that’s us."

Kaylan James

Staff Sergeant | Air Force Reserve

When Kaylan became interested in joining the Military, she did an extensive amount of research to determine which branch would be the right fit for her. “I started talking to recruiters, and the Air Force stood out to me more than the other branches,” she says. “When I met my recruiter, it was amazing. She just had a lot of energy and I was impressed with her.” It was through her recruiter that she was able to learn about the Air Force’s many different career paths along with the differences between Active Duty and the Reserve. Her recruiter also helped to secure her current role as a medical technician. 

Kaylan describes her military duties as “anything from basic life support to first aid on the scene. We could be in the medical and surgical unit or ICU taking care of critically ill patients and stabilizing them. Whenever you go to the doctor and get your vital signs and talk to the technicians before you see the doctor, that’s us.”

Kaylan and Airmen like her are also capable of providing the first steps of medical care in a multitude of environments, whether it’s on a base or even midflight. “There are units where the medical technicians fly with and stabilize patients in the air,” she says. Plus, many of her fellow Airmen have a broad range of medical skills. “You have labor and delivery nurses and ER nurses,” she says. “There are technicians who work in family health [and] technicians who work in operational medicine. It’s just such a broad career field with so many different skill sets.”

The Best of Both Worlds

The Air Force Reserve has a schedule that consists of monthly training sessions called “drills” and annual two-week training called “AT.” This schedule allows Kaylan to have a great work-life balance. She has plenty of time to spend with her son and she even coaches gymnastics at a local gym. “I enjoy helping kids with the sport of gymnastics and generalized lessons because it’s fun,” she says.

Kaylan continues to advance her skills in and out of the Military. She encourages people considering military service to join. “It just grows you as an individual,” she says. “It prepares you for so many areas of life. It opens your eyes quickly and makes you learn things a little faster.”