From voting to employment assistance, how one Pathfinder gives back

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jason W. Cochran
  • 501CSW/PA

RAF ALCONBURY, England -- From moving across continents to ever-changing social environments, life in the military can be challenging for service members and their families.

Fortunately there are a myriad of services and organizations to help with these challenges. Several of these agencies helped Alexis Altamirano find her place in the RAF Alconbury community.

“When I first got here in 2017, I was doing full time school online,” said Altamirano, 423d Force Support Squadron community readiness specialist. “With the help of the Air Force Aid Society I was able to get my education mostly free. I focused on sociology and got to study different quality of life programs that I saw in my community.”

Not only was Altamirano able to receive help getting her education, but once she achieved her qualifications was able to utilize USAF resources to help secure employment.

“I always wanted to give back to the programs and services that helped me,” said Altamirano. “And I, especially as a spouse, had times where I felt alone in a new environment, and I wanted to be somebody who could alleviate that for people.”

It was this desire to give back that led Altamirano to become a community readiness specialist.

“The main thing we do is information and referral,” said Altamirano. “It's at the heart of what we do. So even if we don't specifically run a program or a service, we can connect that person with the person who does.”

The list of areas that the community readiness team can help with is extensive and includes transition assistance, employment assistance, interviewing skills, entrepreneurship, in processing, out processing, Family Support Program and more.

“We know that readiness and retention is tied to how you're doing in your work-life needs, [and] how your family is doing, ” said Altamirano. “If your family is not doing okay, if you're not doing okay, it's going to affect readiness; you need to be socially, emotionally, physically well, and we try to cover those bases to make sure that you are.”

While readiness and retention are important to any USAF shop, the motivations within the community readiness office run deeper.

“I really love this community, I'm a stakeholder in this community and I strive to do the best in my position,” said Altamirano. “I want people to have a good experience here in the military, [to allow]the growth and improvement that they want to have.”

For more information about 501st Combat Support Wing community support programs, reach out to the Military and Family Readiness team at DSN 268-3557 or