MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — About 65 bases worldwide have an in-service Reserve recruiter. Now add Misawa to that list.

Tech. Sgt. Carl Nixon is the first recruiter to be assigned to Misawa. Meeting with the in-service recruiter is a required stop during out-processing from active duty.

A Reserve recruiter from Yokota Air Base near Tokyo had been visiting Misawa at least every other month to meet with the 130-some airmen there who typically separate from the military each year, Nixon said.

Those temporary-duty trips were costly, so the service decided to add a recruiter in northern Japan, Nixon said. He said he’s also responsible for Osan and Kunsan air bases in South Korea, where 100 to 150 airmen separate each year.

Nixon also can recruit active-duty sailors, Marines and soldiers separating from the military, as well as dependents or civilians with prior active-duty experience. He can help officers and enlisted personnel in any career field.

He volunteered to go overseas after Reserve recruiting in Springfield, Ore. He was active-duty Air Force for eight years, the last four as a recruiter, and has been a full-time reservist for the past two years.

As such, Nixon said, he receives the same benefits and entitlements as his active-duty counterparts but doesn’t need to take a test for promotion as long as he performs in his job. Also, he can stay at a duty station as long as he wants.

“Most members know nothing about the reserves,” he said.

Nixon said he hopes to fix that.

He said the traditional reservist who works or trains with a Reserve unit one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year is just one of four reservist types. An individual mobilization augmentee, or IMA, for example, is assigned to an active-duty unit, serving about 40 training days a year, Nixon said, noting that several IMAs are at Misawa.

While the president may mobilize reservists during wartime or contingency operations, Nixon said the Air Force Reserve’s operations tempo is lower than that of active-duty Air Force or Air National Guard.

“I can’t guarantee anything … but that’s what I’ve seen since I’ve been a reservist,” he said.

The Reserve continues to exceed recruiting goals, Nixon said. From Oct. 1, 2004, to July 31, it signed up 7,276 recruits for the highest recruiting percentage of the six Reserve components, the Pentagon stated recently. The Marine Corps Reserve was the only other Reserve component to meet 100 percent of its recruiting goal that period.

Some officers this year, depending on their career field, may be eligible to separate early and join the Reserve as part of the Air Force’s force-shaping initiative, Nixon said.

Reservists are eligible for numerous benefits, including medical, retirement, full college tuition and base exchange and commissary privileges.

“It’s a very flexible system,” he said. “We try not to interfere with civilian life as much as possible.”

Nixon works in Building 1000 across from the Tohoku Enlisted Club. He can be reached at For more information about the Air Force Reserve, go to:

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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