Airmen highlight recruiting efforts for 7 million NASCAR fans

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brigitte N. Brantley
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
One hundred Airmen from Moody Air Force Base, Ga., unfurled a football field-sized U.S. flag in front of a crowd of 7.3 million live and broadcast viewers as the national anthem played at here July 2.

The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, a NASCAR race almost as old as the organization itself, was an opportune event for Air Force recruiters to appeal to a crowd whose interests are similar to the military's.

"Anything we can do to get the Air Force in people's minds is a good thing," said Tech. Sgt. Brad Barth, a 336th Recruiting Squadron marketing NCO. "The crowds at NASCAR tend to be mechanically inclined, and that can translate directly into working with aircraft or vehicle engines.

"When we get someone who's interested and they take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, their mechanical scores are through the roof, and that's a great starting point," Barth said.

Prior to the Airmen holding the 300-by-150-foot flag, many of the recruiters interacted with potential recruits and other members of the public at an Air Force display, which included mock identification cards, a jet engine and the Air Force-sponsored No. 43 car.

"The NASCAR fan base as a whole loves the military, plain and simple," said Amy Stabler, a Winter Haven, Fla., citizen. "We always try to stop by the Air Force display at each race we go to. Even though I don't have any family members serving, it's still important for me to support our military and honor them the best I can. It's great to see them here."

Two notable people who visited the Air Force display before the race were Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and A.J. Allmendinger, the NASCAR driver for Air Force-sponsored No. 43 car.

Schwartz thanked Allmendinger for being there and representing the Air Force, before giving the oath of enlistment to a group of delayed entry program members.

The Air Force recruits approximately 9,000 people each year for mechanical jobs, including avionics specialists and crew chiefs.