JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
For the first time since the inception of the Air Force Recruiting Service Operation Blue Suit award, AFRS is recognizing its Total Force partners by honoring an Air Force Reservist and Air National Guardsman.
Since 1979, Operation Blue Suit has honored the top recruiters in AFRS. Although it has been in existence for 41 years, this is the first time Operation Blue Suit has included all three components of Air Force Recruiting, making this another significant milestone in the transition to Total Force Recruiting.
"We are one Air Force with many ways to serve and we are now recognizing the best across the enterprise that are putting young men and women in boots for the first time and getting those to continue to serve in the Guard and Reserve,” said Col. Thomas Butler, AFRS chief of integration.
The Operation Blue Suit program recognizes the best recruiters worldwide for their efforts in recruiting a diverse, high-quality volunteer force to fill career fields critical to the Air Force in accomplishing its missions.
Master Sgt. Marquise Heard, Air Force Reserve Command’s 367th Recruiting Group, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, and Tech. Sgt. Moneshia Washington, 144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard, are the first ever reserve component recruiters to be honored with the Blue Suit award.
“Being the first Blue Suit award recipient for the Air Force Reserve is a tremendous honor,” Heard said. “I was excited and also nervous because I am representing Air Force Reserve Command. With recruiting going to Total Force, it was imperative to represent the Reserve well. This experience has been absolutely amazing, having the opportunity to connect with the other blue suitor recipients and literally being appreciated by the entire Air Force, to include Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright. Every single day has been a new surprise and so eventful. I honestly truly appreciate my command giving me this opportunity.”
The Air Force is embarking on a Total Force recruiting enterprise approach to recruit the nation’s best talent. In addition to recruiting for the regular Air Force, the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, Total Force recruiting also encompasses Air Force Academy admissions, Air Force Civilian Service and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.
“It has created a fusion across the Total Force to improve talent acquisition and operational effectiveness,” Butler said. “The drive is to combine the six recruiting networks when and where it makes sense, cut out duplication, and create unified strategies to build and maintain the world’s best Air Force.”
In addition to Heard and Washington, the other Blue Suit winners are:
Tech. Sgt. Matthew T. Davis, 317th Recruiting Squadron, Oxon Hill, Maryland;
Master Sgt. Kevin M. Bertelson, 336th RCS, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia;
Tech. Sgt. Jeremiah C. Camper, 369th RCS, Encino, California;
Tech. Sgt. Benjamin J. Miner, 330th RCS, San Antonio, Texas;
Tech. Sgt. Christopher Trumble, 318th RCS, Master Sgt. Stephen White, 342nd RCS, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania;
Master Sgt. Tanisha E. Ross, 337th RCS, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina;
Master Sgt. Aaron M. Stern, 330th RCS, Master Sgt. Blake Manuel, 348th RCS, Clearfield, Utah;
Tech. Sgt. Jacob M. Chavez, 319th RCS, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts;
Master Sgt. Christina L. McGuire, 341st RCS, San Antonio, Texas;
Master Sgt. Caleb Walker, 343rd RCS, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.