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NEWS | Sept. 20, 2023

Air Force Recruiting Service leadership represent at AFA 2023

By Maj. Genieve White Air Force Recruiting Service

Top leaders from Air Force Recruiting Service Headquarters conducted a special panel at the Air and Space Force Association’s 2023 Air, Space and Cyber Conference at National Harbor, Maryland, Sept. 11.

Brig. Gen. Christopher Amrhein, commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service, and AFRS Command Chief Master Sgt. Rebecca Arbona, led a candid discussion on the state of the recruiting efforts for the Department of the Air Force and the recruiting challenges our Nation faces.

Amrhein very pointedly noted that recruitment of our next generation Airmen and Guardians was a national imperative and one that cannot risk mission failure.

“I have recognized the tough challenges that are out there,” Amrhein said. “We need Airmen and Guardians to tell their story. It’s so critical for people to understand, the lack of familiarity of our military creates a generational gap and we have to make up for that.”

Later in the panel, AFRS debuted it’s ‘Why Did You Join’ video to the audience which focused on several key individual’s storylines on why they decided to join the armed forces. Later those featured in the video were asked up on stage to expand on their stories and highlighted as a force multiplier in recruiting’s call to action “We are All Recruiters” campaign.  

“We are able to use our e-recruiters, former retired recruiters, with their capabilities and all their institutional knowledge to leverage that as an additional opportunity to assist in our recruiting efforts,” Arbona said.

The panel dovetailed nicely with nine recruits who were led on stage to take the oath of enlistment by special guest Lt. Gen. Brian Robinson, Commander, Air Education and Training Command. The recruits were joined by family and friends in the audience and a standing ovation in a ballroom of thousands.

Panel moderator, Tobias Naegle, Air and Space Forces Magazine editor, closed the panel with a call to action.

“If every Airman or Guardian, past or present, would tell their story on social media and use the hashtags #myairforcestory or #myspaceforcestory, we could start to see a positive trend in sharing what makes our stories great,” Naegle said.