Telling the Reserve Citizen Airman story

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Corban Lundborg
  • 4th Combat Camera

The directions were to look hot and don’t forget to wipe the sweat off his forehead. It didn’t take long in the summer heat for beads of perspiration to form while Tech. Sgt. Michael Idris marshalled a C-17 Globemaster as the aircraft prepared for flight. What made this time different was the video camera swooping down and around to capture the action of arm movements and the taxiing aircraft. Next take, this time a close up, he marshals, wipes forehead, and then repeats a few more times for the perfect shot. 

The filming was conducted by a video production crew from 4th Combat Camera Squadron, Charleston, SC and the 914th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, Niagra Air Reserve Base, NY, which chose March Air Reserve Base as one of the locations to film a video commissioned by Air Force Reserve Command. The video features Reservists portraying Citizen Airman from different walks of life, who work in different Air Force Reserve career fields.


"The overall aim of this video is to tell the Reserve Citizen Airman story and demonstrate just how agile and lethal the Air Force Reserve is, and how well-trained, motivated, and skilled our Reservists are,” said Col. Bruce Bender, Director of Public Affairs for Air Force Reserve Command.


Idris, an Aircraft Hydraulic Technician with the 452nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was one of the chosen Reservists. The storyline created for the role was similar to Idris’ actual job including marshalling, troubleshooting components on the aircraft, training, and an off-duty shop softball game illustrating the strong bonds that are created through serving together.


“The acting during the maintenance role was not difficult at all. The producer made it clear to just act as we normally do. So, I actually had a brand-new Airmen that I was genuinely conducting training with and they just happened to catch it on camera” said Idris. “Maintenance has strong, family-like ties both on and off duty. Not all of us have family here so we rely on each other to hang out, even outside of work.”


Another March Reservist, Senior Airman Sydney Hilbert, 610th Air Operations Group, was asked to play the role of a Citizen Airman who is a social media analyst and avid runner in her civilian life, and an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) analyst in her military life. Her storyline included scenes of civilian life and a simulated deployment.


“I’m excited to be able to act the part I play in real life. It’s unique,” said Hilbert. “I’m happy to help others understand the balance of the transition from civilian to military.”


After long days of filming, costume changes, traveling to different set locations, and the patience required for multiple takes, the lead actors and the many other reservists who assisted as extras had a fun and unique experience.


“The experience was definitely one I will remember, but I don't plan on making my Hollywood break to fame anytime soon” said Idris.