Department of the Air Force partners with NASCAR at Pocono Raceway

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jacob Derry
  • 360th Recruiting Group

Kristyn Jones, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller, performing the duties of Under Secretary of the Air Force, visited Pocono Raceway to participate in the Air Force Recruiting Service mission at the NASCAR Cup Series Race July 23, as part of a longstanding partnership with Legacy Motor Club, a NASCAR racing team.

Jones was accompanied by Brig. Gen. Christopher Amrhein, Air Force Recruiting Service commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Rebecca Arbona, AFRS command chief. 

“To be able to have senior leaders such as Jones see what our recruiters are doing out in the field is vital,” Amrhein said. “To hear about the mission is one thing, but to be able to see what happens at the ground level really puts things into perspective and emphasizes how seriously we take our recruiting mission.

During the event, Jones rode in a Department of the Air Force-sponsored, Camaro ZL1 stock car sporting an Air Force paint scheme driven by Erik Jones, a NASCAR driver with Legacy Motor Club. She later received a behind-the-scenes look at the NASCAR garage and attended the pre-race drivers meeting. 

Jones also toured “The Hangar,” an AFRS display that provides guests an opportunity to conduct a virtual aerial refueling mission as a tanker-aircraft boom operator. She then met with 314th Recruiting Squadron leadership, local recruiters and new Air Force recruit-members of the Delayed Entry Program. She shared her experiences serving in the military and personally engaged with the newest generation of Airmen and their families. 

“It’s a little scary to enter this new chapter in life, but they’re going to be in good hands,” Jones said to the Airmen’s families, “We’re going to take care of them as our newest Airmen. They’re going to learn amazing things; they’re going to have the opportunity to earn their degrees or advance themselves in so many ways. We could not be more proud of them!” 

Jones swore in the Delayed Entry Program recruits, along with approximately 100 new enlistees from across the Armed Forces, by conducting a joint oath of enlistment ceremony in front of the crowd at the NASCAR event. 

“I want to express my profound gratitude to those in attendance today,” Jones said. “Your support of our military, for those who stand up to serve, is a testament to the shared values and patriotism that makes this nation great.” 

AFRS efforts are currently focused on generating awareness for military service among all qualified demographics across the country. Although the AFRS has faced a shortfall in 2023 along with the other military services, numbers are trending upwards thanks to the efforts of recruiters in these areas.

I’m proud to say we ended the previous quarter at an all-time high for the year,” Amrhein said. “What these recruiters are doing out here is making a huge difference, and that’s reflected as well in those who choose to join our Air and Space Force today. Thank you for all that you do.”