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The casual life at Goodfellow

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Driscoll, 316th Training Squadron student, demonstrates techniques during honor guard training in the 17th Training Wing Public Affairs building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 31th, 2018. Driscoll is a casual student who supplements honor guard during her wait for clearance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Driscoll, 316th Training Squadron student, demonstrates techniques during honor guard training in the 17th Training Wing Public Affairs building on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 31th, 2018. Driscoll is a casual student who supplements honor guard during her wait for clearance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- With around 2,300 students on base you can’t help but see students everywhere, but there are some students you see in places you wouldn’t expect. You may see students working the gates or lending a hand at the Airman Family Readiness Center.

“When I first graduated class last June, I was a sensitive compartmented information facility casual,” said Airman 1st Class Mackenzie Driscoll, 316th Training Squadron student. “We were the escorts who took people in and out of the SCIFs that didn’t have the clearance to be there. After that I transferred over to being an office tech for my military training leaders. There I worked directly with the MTLs, I had my own office there and we would assist them with administration, squadron or anything airmen related. My MTLs said that I fulfilled a staff sergeant position because of the amount of work I was doing.”

There are many positions and locations that the casuals can help with, including honor guard, maintaining the dorms or assisting different offices with miscellaneous jobs. At Goodfellow casual status often revolves around class schedules and security clearances.

“Casual status can happen for a number of reasons,” said Driscoll. “Most SCIF casuals happen because airmen are waiting for follow-on courses. Long-term casuals usually are people waiting for their full adjudication, which is like my instance.

“I have completed my target course so I have earned my intelligence badge. I wear it on my uniform, but we have a follow-on course that is base specific, so for the base that I am going to I need it. I have to wait for my [clearance approval] before I can go to my next duty station.

“For me, I have been waiting for one item. That item could be an interview, a phone call or it could be anything,”

Another casual student, Airman 1st Class Isiah Jacobs, 315th TRS student, explains his time waiting for his clearance.

“I’m eagerly waiting the day that I get my clearance,” said Jacobs. “You see everyone else progress with their career in the operational Air Force, and you are still here. It is hard seeing that, but it is worth it knowing what I will be able to do once I am operational.”

Casual status may sound challenging, but the time here waiting doesn’t need to be wasted.

“A lot of casuals, especially long-term casuals like myself, are given a lot of great opportunities, like being an office technician, working charge of quarters or other positions that give experience in leadership. It gives us an opportunity to progress ourselves,” said Driscoll.