I read with great interest Airminder's Air Force Recruiting page. I share much of his anguish, as nearly the same thing happened to me. However, my story had a slightly different twist. I recruited in Ohio from 1992 to 1994. I lasted only 25 months in Recruiting Service. AFRS wasn't kidding about the long irregular hours, but I was prepared to meet the challenge. In my rookie year, I struggled but made just at 100% of my quota (recruiting Service likes to refer to quotas as "goals"). The following year literally fell apart, as I ended up at a little over 30%. See, when a recruiter makes his/her quota, everything is hunky dory (which admittedly, is a good feeling). However, when your quota isn't being met, life is hell. The 8 to 8 shift is a common practice plus Saturdays. One chief even called to say that he didn't care if you had to come in on Sundays to make phone contacts (I think not!). My supervisor and I definitely held vastly different management beliefs. Recruiting Service is numbers driven, and I wouldn't hire an applicant unless I was sure they could cut the mustard in the AF. Here's the twist...it wasn't just myself who was struggling. Matter of fact, over 75% of the squadron's recruiters were struggling. Unfortunately, a few squadron key personnel took it upon themselves to start jockeying the numbers to keep their bosses off their backs (gee, I guess they now know how I felt). Well, they got caught at their game and it resulted in the commander, Sq superintendent, ops chief, trainer, and one of the flight supervisors being relieved of duty for cause. Before all this happened, they relieved me of duty for cause. I received a letter of reprimand, relief action letter, a MSgt promotion redline notice, and a referral "2" EPR all dated the same day. Basically, they told me that I was scum, but I kept asking them, "What did I do that was illegal?" Of course, they refused to answer that. In the end, I successfully petitioned for my stripe back and had the "2" EPR permanently deleted from my records. Despite all this happening back in 1994, I still harbor resentment to only 1 individual in that group. Believe it or not, I have long since forgiven the commander for what he did to me. However, I will never forgive the superintendent for what he put me through. He was the one who obviously filled the commander with bad advice. I still rejoice at the fact that he retired from the Air Force in total disgrace. Now, as for comments from MSgt Jeff S., his comments are something I definitely expected of a career recruiter. My first office partner was exactly like that. Don't get me wrong...not all successful recruiters cop a "holier than thou" attitude. There are silver- and gold-badge recruiters who are real good people. Some successful recruiters go as far as saying that "there's no such thing as rank in recruiting. Oh really.........like my Dad once told me, "It doesn't matter what the job is.........stripes are stripes!" Since leaving Air Force Recruiting Service, I have been in a position to help any displaced recruiter I meet, because chances are that they are seeking justice just as I did. As a final thought on this subject (because I can go all night telling you what I think is wrong with Air Force Recruiting Service), I feel that HQ Recruiting Service needs to do a top down review of how they do business. Here are some suggestions: 1. Quit treating recruiters like crap if they don't make quotas! If you expect every recruiter to make their quota every month, then you're expecting utopia. 2. Do away with the pro pay for every person NOT on production. If you do that, then you'll see who the real die-hards are who stay around. As I recall, HQ Recruiting Service did this at their level and there was a mass exodus. 3. Recognize that ALL ZONES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL!!!!! Base quotas at flight level instead of recruiter level. 4. Rate recruiters on their efforts to recruit, not the numbers they put in. Compare San Antonio (the gateway to the Air Force and easiest zones) to San Francisco (in my opinion, the toughest zones in the country) and you'll see what I mean. 5. Recognize that many things happen that are beyond the recruiter's control. Things like additional law violations and unplanned pregnancies. In other words, when it comes to applicant control, knock off this "recruiter accountability" crap. I had the distinct privilege of serving in an outfit whose motto is:
Jot a note to Bruce...
to Airminder's All About Air Force Recruiting Page.