SAN ANTONIO (AFNS) --
Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall received updates from leaders at Air Force Recruiting Service and visited local recruiters in Universal City, April 4.
Kendall’s visit comes as concerns are focused on the military service’s ability to attract and recruit the force needed for the nation’s security requirements.
The visit began with Air Force Recruiting Service briefing Kendall on the latest updates for recruiting operations, marketing efforts, and the revamping of the medical waiver and application process.
"Challenges often force clarity and drive improvements," said Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, AFRS commander. "That's exactly what's happened because of this current set of recruiting challenges. As an Air Force, we've knocked down unnecessary policy barriers, adapted processes and improved approaches so that we can be in the top of our game when it comes to attracting the best talent from across the country. There is still more we can and must do to ensure the lifeblood of combat readiness—our Airmen—continue to enter our ranks. But we're starting to see the needle move in the right direction."
AFRS is currently conducting a combined team operation, a collaboration between AFRS and a team assembled by the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Allvin. To date, the collaboration has unlocked a number of productive breakthroughs; revitalizing the naturalization program with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, funding college loan repayment programs, adapting tattoo policies to match current needs, and also creating programs to reward new recruits for existing education and technical credentials.
"Challenges often force clarity and drive improvements." Air Force Recruiting Service Commander Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas
“It is clear our department seeks to be competitive and a desirable path for those seeking to serve the nation,” Kendall said. “It is equally clear reaching that goal is going to be more difficult than in the past. Attracting the right people to our one team is a fundamental task—that task is in the skilled hands of recruiters spread across the country.
The visit also included a stop at a local recruiting office in Universal City—offering a grassroots perspective to the recruiting update.
Kendall met with Master Sgt. Erica Jones, currently serving as an active duty enlisted accessions recruiter. The conversation ranged from current local conditions to feedback on recent policy changes.
“I believe new and expanded policies are helping recruiters recruit more individuals into the Air Force and Space Force that previously would not have been eligible to join if the policies had not changed,” Jones said. “Now individuals who are over their maximum allowable weight are still eligible to join if they are under the corresponding body composition measurement.”
“Visiting our recruiters is rewarding,” Kendall said. “This team works under unique conditions, often long hours, often on the road, meeting potential recruits, and preparing them for the rigors of basic military training. Depending on their region, they may be the only Air Force or Space Force representative for miles around—this dedicated team has my gratitude and full respect.”