Some reservists say they are having to downplay their military connection when they hunt for a new job, reversing a trend where military experience opened many business doors. Christian Davenport of the Washington Post reports that the frequent and lengthy deployments for some National Guard and Reserve members has created a climate in which reservists suffer a “military service penalty” when they seek new employment. The article notes that there was a drop in veteran unemployment last year, but the rate is still higher for vets aged 20 to 24 than their peers. Most employers now seem to be honoring the law that requires them to hold a vet’s job, but they are more cautious with new hires. Air National Guard Capt. Angela Rooker told the Post that she initially highlighted her service when going on interviews in the high-tech industry, but that changed. “As soon as they figured out I was still very much obligated to the military, it changed the tone of the interview quite a bit,” said Rooker.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.