AFRS commander commends total force recruiters’ hard work toward FY22 goals

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  • Air Force Recruiting Service Public Affairs

Two months ago, Air Force Recruiting Service wasn’t sure they would make their active-duty enlisted goal for Fiscal 2022. Despite the challenges, they rang the bell as a time-honored tradition to signify mission accomplished Sept. 29, 2022.

While enthusiastic for the win, the top recruiter described making goal as a “dead stick landing” that comes with many future challenges as AFRS enters Fiscal 2023 on full afterburner.

“We love what we do and know the importance of what we do – change lives and protect national security,” said Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, AFRS commander, during the ceremony at AFRS Headquarters, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. “As we come into ’23, we are going to do it as one stronger team—America’s premiere recruiting team.”

The recruiting commander thanked Airmen, Guardians, civilians and their families, for the heart they have for the mission. 

“You guys turned up and your hard work brought out the character of the team,” he said. “We are a total force team—no one puts on the uniform and does this alone.”

Reaching the Air Force’s enlisted accessions goal of shipping 26,151 non-prior service future Airmen was not the only win.  Air Force officer accessions goals of 313 were met as well as all Space Force recruiting goals. Unfortunately, the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard did not meet their final numbers.

All U.S. Armed Forces are faced with long term challenges of declining eligibility and propensity to serve among today’s youth as well as a general lack in overall national awareness of military career options, and Chief Master Sgt. Antonio Goldstrom, AFRS Command Chief, as he acknowledged those hurdles to the crowd.

“This has been an absolute challenging year for our team,” Goldstrom said. “But our team accepted the challenge and we met goal on the RegAF side.”

Innovation was described as the team’s advantage in their wins for active-duty service goals met.  The commander lauded the forward thinking it took for recruiters to get past staggering statistics while continuing to operate in today’s unique environment.

“We’ve got the best recruiting team in the Department of Defense and you guys do it well, so well done,” said Thomas. “Well done AFRS!”

As for Fiscal 2023, the top recruiter said AFRS will depend on reaching goal together as a family.  With every Airman as a recruiter, he envisions a "whole of Air Force" approach necessary for the future of Air Force recruiting.

Their presence has been expressed as the best approach to recruiting by the top recruiter. In order for the Air Force to reach larger and more diverse groups of community members and build awareness of service opportunities, servicemembers need to be present to facilitate connections.

“We are going to do this together as one stronger team as America’s premiere recruiting team,” he said.