Career Spotlight: Recruiters Kickoff

For those of you in the military, do you remember the first time you went to talk to a recruiter? I do! I was living in Colorado at the time, and started by talking to a Navy recruiter. Then, I called up my cousin (who was Air Force) and he directed me to talk to an Air Force recruiter – his words were something along the line of “if you want to make it a career, go Air Force”….so I did.

My active duty career ended short when I interviewed an Air National Guard recruiter for a story I was writing while stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. All it took was one interview – learning about my option to Palace Chase (a program that transitions you from active duty to the Guard or Reserves) and before long I was on my way home – Wisco-bound! It was by far the best decision I’ve ever made. I still get to travel, I get to see my family on a regular basis, and I am now a member of the best unit out there – the 115th Fighter Wing!

After meeting with the Strength Management Team (aka recruiting and retention Airmen) here, I learned that I’m not the only one who discovered the Air National Guard later in my career. Each and every day they have people calling them up to Palace Chase, to Palace Front, or to come back into the military after getting out. If you look at their numbers, they don’t struggle getting new recruits either. The Air National Guard, and our base in particular, is an attractive option for those looking to serve their country!

So, what does being a recruiting and retention Airman at the 115th entail? By the looks of their offices – I’d say a TON of paperwork! But, furthermore, it means helping people find themselves, helping them gain valuable career experience, helping Americans pay for the college education they have always dreamed of.

Here at the 115th, initial applicants are screened first by visiting or calling 1-800-TOGOANG. Once that process is complete, they meet with one of our recruiters – either Tech. Sgt. Amanda Flanagan (608-245-4657) or Tech. Sgt. Brandon Lutz (608-245-4337). If they find themselves still interested in joining the unit, they take the ASVAB (a test used to qualify civilians for various jobs) and receive a physical. When the list of jobs they qualify for is complete, those interested in joining the unit are given a chance to meet the people they would work with before ever signing on that dotted line. They are given dynamic shop orientations where supervisors and Airmen speak about their jobs – leaving a lasting impression on the new recruits by giving them a real-world perspective. It’s nice because they aren’t pressured into choosing a path before they have a chance to soak up some knowledge about that career.

What happens to those who join and decide they don’t like the job they chose? That’s where retention comes in. Those same recruiters have the ability to find you a job that works best for you. Cross-training is always an option!

With only five producing recruiter/retention Airmen in the state – they definitely have their work cut-out for themselves. In an effort to spread the word on some openings the unit potentially has, I’ve decided to focus the next several weeks on Air Force Specialty Codes (aka Air Force jobs), so those who are interested in serving their country or are currently in the ANG looking to transition to something new, can get a taste for some of the opportunities out there!

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks to learn more about those opportunities! In the meantime, the Strength Management Team – aka recruiters/retention Airmen – are available.


115th Recruiters/Retention Airmen:

2013 Recruiters

The Wisconsin Strength Management Team:Wisconsin Air Guard Recruiting Team (2)

Recruiting events:



About Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode

Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode is a photojournalist for the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin.