News>Recruits join AF Reserve at mixed martial arts event
Col. Raymond A. Kozak, 512th Airlift Wing commander, administers the oath of enlistment inside a mixed martial arts cage to 12 recruits as part of an Air Force Reserve Mass Enlistment Ceremony Oct. 13, 2012. The ceremony was part of a nationwide effort to hold enlistment ceremonies in October, signifying the beginning of a new recruitment year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)
Ben Henderson, the current Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champ, has some fun with Lt. Col. Andrew Eiler, 512th Operations Support Flight commander, Oct. 13, 2012, before the 512th Airlift Wing's Mass Enlistment Ceremony held at a mixed martial arts event in Dover, Del. Henderson is one of many UFC fighters featured at Air Force Reserve recruiting events around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)
Delaware recruits recite the oath of enlistment Oct. 13, 2012, during the intermission of a mixed martial arts event at the Rollins Center in Dover, Del. The new recruits will attend Basic Military Training alongside active-duty Airmen in Texas and will be assigned to the 512th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)
Ben Henderson, the current Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champ, thanks the Air Force Reserve for the opportunity to come to Dover, Del., as part of the 512th Airlift Wing's Mass Enlistment Ceremony, held at a mixed martial arts event Oct. 13, 2012. Henderson is one of many UFC fighters featured at Air Force Reserve recruiting events around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)
From left to right are Staff Sgt. Ryan Broady, Airman 1st Class Demarrius Jeffers and Staff Sgt. Ntambwe Kambeya singing the national anthem as part of the 512th Airlift Wing's Mass Enlistment Ceremony Oct. 13, 2012, held at a mixed martial arts event in Dover, Del. The trio members are assigned to the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, Dover Air Force Base, Del. (U.S. Air Force photo/Roland Balik)
by Master Sgt. Veronica Aceveda
512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
10/18/2012 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- A group of men and women from all over Delaware joined the Air Force Reserve during a mass enlistment ceremony Oct. 13, 2012, at Delaware's first professional Mixed Martial Arts event inside the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.
Inside a caged ring, friends and family of the recruits along with hundreds of MMA fans witnessed the Dover Air Force Base Honorguard present the colors and the national anthem sung by a trio of uniformed Airmen from the base .
The enlistment ceremony featured 12 enlistees, ages 18 to 37, taking the oath of enlistment, signifying the start of their AF Reserve career in the 512th Airlift Wing here.
"Making the pledge to defend our nation is a monumental milestone and something they'll always remember," said 512th AW Commander Col. Raymond A. Kozak, who administered the oath during the MMA's half-time show. "It was an honor to perform this ceremony before such a large audience, and it was an added bonus for these new Airmen to witness the patriotism of the crowd through their applause and cheers."
To enhance the 512th AW's event this year, Ben Henderson, the current Ultimate Fighting Championship Lightweight champion attended the event, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. The base honor guard also presented the colors, and a trio of singers in service dress uniforms performed the national anthem.
The mass enlistment ceremony was part of a nationwide effort to hold enlistment ceremonies throughout the Air Force Reserve Command in October.
Enlisting into the Air Force Reserve is similar to enlisting in the active-duty Air Force. Reservists receive many of the same benefits as the active-duty Air Force but have the flexibility to train and serve near home, attend college full time or maintain a civilian career.