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Recruiters: gateway into the Air Force

A photo of Airmen assigned to the 336th Recruiting Squadron posing for a photo.

Airmen assigned to the 336th Recruiting Squadron pose for a photo Dec. 19, 2019, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The recruiters assigned to the 336th RCS make it their mission to inspire, engage and recruit future Airmen to deliver airpower for the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

About 30,000 Airmen join the ranks of the U.S. Air Force every year.

The recruiters assigned to the 336th Recruiting Squadron make it their mission to inspire, engage and recruit future Airmen to deliver airpower for the Air Force.

“I love my job because of the direct impact I make in people’s lives,” said Master Sgt. Bill Spreng, 336th RCS senior trainer. “An Airman’s journey doesn’t start without the recruiter, and that’s why I feel it’s one of the most important jobs in the Air Force. The most important assets to the Air Force are their Airmen, and they don’t become Airmen without their recruiter.”

One of the main ways recruiters reach out is through their engagement into the communities, particularly with schools.

“We as recruiters are out in the community interacting with and showcasing the Air Force to people and places that potentially don't know about us,” Spreng said. “A lot of our recruiters go into the schools and talk to the students, but more times they're out there talking to the teachers and to the guidance counselors, letting them know what the Air Force has to offer to their students.”

For those who decide to take the plunge into joining the Air Force, the recruiters put the potential Airman through all the necessary steps to get them off to basic military training as successfully as possible.

“We've got to make sure we're a well-rounded force, and our recruiters do a good job matching folks to their skills,” Spreng said. “It's not an immediate process. It's about a four- to six-month wait before they go because we base it off of basic training or tech school class dates. While they wait, they’re in what's called the Delayed Entry Program. They have required monthly meetings with a recruiter where they get together as a group, and the recruiter educates them on certain tasks. They teach them how to form up in formation, how to march, drill, how to salute and reporting statements. When they get to basic training, they're going to be that much ahead and better prepared.”

Through the recruiting process, the recruiters are able to inspire future Airmen by pulling from their own personal and Air Force experiences.

“I start out by just telling my story and all of the opportunities that the Air Force has given me,” Spreng said. “If the recruiter has had a broad career, having been to multiple bases or having been in certain careers, their Air Force story can inspire in that personal way that they as a recruiter can share.”

For Chief Master Sgt. Richard Wells, 336th RCS superintendent, when people can seize the chance to become something more than they were, it can lead to a plethora of experiences that all begins with the recruiter.

“The world's bigger than your small town USA you're from,” Wells said. “Take advantage of the opportunity to have something like the Air Force show you different perspectives to meet different people, different demographics, having the opportunities to have those experiences that make you become a better person in life.

“It all starts with the recruiter,” Wells added. “They want to help people out, to help them be better men and women, and we can offer that opportunity to them.”