Reserve Command recruiting recruiters

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Harrison Withrow
  • 434 ARW Public Affairs
When it comes to finding great recruiters, it takes one to know one.

Air Force Reserve Command has an initiative to increase recruitment in key career fields, one of which is recruiters themselves.

“The Air Force needs top-quality people,” said Colonel Larry Shaw, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander. “To get top-quality people we need top-quality recruiters to fill our ranks.”

The need for new recruiters comes at a time when many recruiter slots are now or soon will be vacant.

“We’re losing a lot of our recruiters to attrition,” said Senior Master Sgt. David Williford, 434th Air Refueling Wing recruitment flight chief. “Our most experienced people are retiring faster than we can fill their positions.”

The recruiters are looking to hire highly motivated staff sergeants, technical sergeants and master sergeants. Senior airmen who qualify for promotion may also apply.

“We’re looking for top-notch Airmen who are willing to pick up and relocate based on Air Force needs,” said Williford. “The first thing I always ask people is if they’re ready to move.”

Recruiters have the unique role of attracting and convincing prospective individuals to join the Air Force Reserve, and as such, are often the first impression many civilians have with the military.

“Coming into the recruiting field, you need to want to help people improve themselves and become great Airmen,” he said. “With that comes some great benefits and the satisfaction of knowing that you’re shaping the future of the Air Force.”

While the rewards may be many, so can be the challenges of a job that is often autonomous and requires a lot of flexibility.

“We need people who are real self-starters,” he said. “The job has you traveling constantly and you may not see your home station for weeks, if you’re even assigned to a home station.

“Because they’re working with little or no supervision, integrity is absolutely critical,” Williford added.

Because of the unique challenges faced by these gatekeepers to the Air Force, the recruitment process of future recruiters is multi-phased.

“Applicants first come to me for the initial interview, followed by a call from my superintendent,” said Williford. “If they make it through that, they’re invited to a 2-day entry selection course at headquarters.

After completing the ESC, applicants can choose to continue on to recruiting technical training school at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. During the 6-week training, future recruiters are trained on public speaking, recruiting processes and selling techniques.

As active guard and reserve, recruiters receive all regular Air Force pay and benefits and can retire with an active-duty retirement.

“This isn’t an easy job, but it’s a very rewarding job and one that people get really passionate about,” said Williford. “If you have a drive to help people transform their lives, this is the best job in the world.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. Men and women from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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