Lieutenants take on recruiting efforts|
by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs
8/19/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- After the ROTC program helped them reach their goal of becoming Air Force officers, 20 second lieutenants are selected to share their experiences as part of the Gold Bar Recruiter program.
"In an effort to align with the Air Force chief of staff's vision of a diverse Air Force, Air Force ROTC began looking at diversity recruiting programs that had been successful in the past," said Col. Jefferson Dunn, commander, AFROTC. "The Gold Bar Recruiter program was selected due to its ability to reach a significant number of prospective AFROTC cadets from diverse backgrounds."
In the 2010 academic year, recruits contacted more than 7,300 high school students, leading to 746 applications and 53 scholarship offers.
The program has been effective, as the Air Force has seen an increase in minority recruitment, Dunn said.
Though the program aims to attract minority students, the recruiters reach out to any student interested in pursuing a career in the Air Force through the ROTC program.
"We're trying to give people an opportunity," said recruiter 2nd Lt. Anthony Marco. He insists that the program isn't about "selling" the Air Force. The Gold Bar recruiters tell their experiences and assist high school and college students interested in applying for AFROTC.
Lieutenants volunteer for the recruiter program and undergo an application process, including letters of recommendation and performance reports.
"AFROTC looks for a diverse group of highly motivated, newly commissioned officers to share their own experiences in AFROTC as well as their dreams and expectations of their future as an Air Force officer, and to help guide other young men and women as they decide whether a career in the Air Force might be right for them," Dunn said.
Recruiter 2nd Lt. Keli Kaaekuahiwi said he was inspired by a friend who was a Gold Bar lieutenant.
"One of my friends did it last year, and I wanted to do it, too," he said.
Last week, 20 recruiters completed a two-week training course at Holm Center, which included scenarios preparing them for real-world situations.
"Now they send us across the country to do our jobs," Kaaekuahiwi said. He'll be stationed in Los Angeles, while Marco heads to San Diego. Recruiters are sent to areas with a high percentage of minority students.
Each site has two lieutenants who attend 70-80 school fairs September through November, said Capt. Lance Summy, a regional director of admissions. Afterward, they work with guidance counselors to maintain contact with interested students.
"They'll put in some serious hours at the fairs, then they pull back and develop relationships," Summy said. "Guidance counselors know their students and will bring people to us."
By the end of the school year, recruiters begin their permanent change of station process and take on new roles in the Air Force.
"The program gives the lieutenants a jump start on their career," Summy said. "They develop a tremendous amount of leadership."