“Our recruiting goal for fiscal year 2019 was larger than I had seen it in well over a decade,” Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gary Stein said. The military as a whole increased their recruiting goals for 2019, but where some struggled, the Air Force surpassed projections.
In fiscal 2019, the Air Force’s recruiting numbers were better than planned and the 332nd did better than most. The 332nd Recruiting Squadron, headquartered in Nashville, covers a 99,000 square-mile area including Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia
and Alabama with approximately 100 people.
The local four-person team, also called a flight, covers Huntsville, Florence, Decatur and some of western Tennessee. Stein’s flight finished as the number one flight in their squadron as well as number one in the entire southern region, including successful recruiting states like Texas, Florida and Mississippi.
There are approximately 1,294 Air Force recruiters in 1,040 recruiting offices throughout the United States.
Stein credits his flight’s success to his outstanding team, supportive leadership and great benefits offered by the Air Force.
“The way the Air Force fills their billets for recruiting is called developmental special duty,” he said. “We take top performers from their career fields who are nominated by their senior leaders, then vectored into special career fields like recruiting.”
The local flight recruited at a rate of 149% for fiscal 2019, which put them in the top 10 worldwide.
“The 332nd gather at the end of every fiscal year for training and awards, I’m glad it’s in Huntsville this year,” Stein said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to get the entire squadron together since we’re geographically separated and enjoy some camaraderie.”
The squadron receives mandatory training and has the option to attend various breakout sessions. Senior spouses arrange their own sessions to help with issues that arise from being a geographically separated spouse.
Senior leaders from the 369th Recruiting Group and Air Force Recruiting Service attended, including Commander Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt.
“Maj. Gen. Leavitt is only able to attend two to three of these events a year because she’s so busy, we’re extremely honored that she chose ours,” Stein said. Many of us take it for granted that we see our colleagues and leaders on a daily basis but the 332nd are scattered across seven states.
“This gives us a chance for our leadership to see us in person and talk with headquarters leadership, we don’t get that very often. We hear the state of the command, what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong, what we can do better.”
The annual event also gives the squadron the opportunity to share ideas
and strategize for the new recruiting cycle.
“Being so geographically separated, it’s great to have this time to share ideas, what’s working in our other states and how we can exceed our goal for this year,” Stein said.
“This also gives us the chance to congratulate all of the newly promoted in our ranks. We get to bring our spouses to the big awards banquet and enjoy the time together.”
Many recruiters are located in rural areas far from any military base but that’s not the case for the local flight.
“We are really grateful to have the support of Redstone Arsenal, my daughter even works at the new Starbucks.”
Editor’s note: The local Air Force recruiting office is moving from 1100 Jordan Lane to 2315 Bob Wallace Ave., Suite 104, after Christmas.