Enlistment and Basic Training

Interviewee: Janine Smith

b. 1979


Janine Smith was born in Price, Utah, lived in Colorado, Illinois, Alabama, and Mississippi, but mostly lived in Arizona and Utah. She was enlisted in the Air Force for nine years up to master sergeant, which she spent at Hill Air Force Base. She was commissioned about four years ago at McChord Air Force Base in Washington, which is her unit presently. She is a second lieutenant. Janine describes her mission in the Air Medical Evacuation Squadron providing medical aid to troops and civilians on the battlefield.


She talks about deciding to join the Air Force and her basic training. She describes her deployment in September of two thousand eleven to Afghanistan. In Afghanistan she worked to train the Army to use the Air Force’s system of medical care, as well as directed the logistics of treating patients. She also worked with the British military. She describes working relations with the Army and with the British military and relations with the Afghani people.


Janine discusses the difficulties in debriefing, returning to the States and reintegrating into civilian life. She finds it hard to be motivated after dealing with such harsh conditions. She currently works providing health education and care internationally to Ghana, Uganda, Peru, and China, among other countries.