Here's what some other folks have to say about their experiences with Air Force Recruiting Service...This is only a sampling...More to come soon!  As you read,
keep in mind the stringent requirements for selection to become a recruiter...
Only the best of the best are chosen to become recruiters!
---------------EMail Received 08/97


I served several years ago as a Recruiting Service Squadron Officer,

first as the RM, then as the Ops Officer.  I still describe my stint in

Recruiting as the best job I ever had in the Air Force.  I've thought

about returning to Recruiting as a Squadron Commander for my next

(likely final) assignment.

Your story is dismaying and very discouraging, particularly since it

rings so true to the experience I thought was so great. We chewed up and

spit out dirtbag recruiters with such regularity in my squadron that it

became as natural as breathing.  I personally conducted investigations 

of several recruiters who were doing wrong - dating teenage applicants,

misusing government vehicles, all kinds of stuff.  Some of the folks

were really running wild when they found themselves "without


But there were the other investigations too.  The grilling of recruiters

and their recruits for unsubstantiated allegations. The empahsis on

petty transgressions to remove recruiters who could not (or no longer)

produce. "We don't fire you for your production, we fire you for your

work habits."  I'm sure you've heard that line.

What's taken the sheen off of my golden memories of life in Recruiting

is remembering the callousness with which we sometimes treated our

folks.  As the Ops Officer, I wasn't really in the line of fire or

delivering the fire.  But as a Squadron CO I'd have to be dishing it out

daily -- and taking from my Group Commander, no doubt.

Yours is a thought-provoking story. Its a cautionary tale for

prospective recruiter and prospective squadron CC alike.  I wish you

good luck in the balance of your Air Force career.


----------------My Response


Thank you so very, very much for your thought provoking note.  It was

very difficult not to feel as though I was "all on my own out there" and

a failure, even though I served in my position the best way I knew

possible.  I thought I was on a team, but discovered what desparation

feels like.  If not for the love and support from my family, friends,

and above all, God, I probably would not be here to tell my story. 

Never did I violate my integrity while performing my duties.  I don't

plead for sympathy, I just wanted and still want "the right thing" to be

done, and to let others know what may be in store for them and to be

cautious.  I never thought that I'd be ashamed or afraid to say "I am

(or was) a recruiter in US Air Force Recruiting Service".  My first 2

years in AFRS was very rewarding and fulfilling.  I felt good knowing I

was doing something for the youth of our country and the Air Force at

the same time.  It was fun then (most of the time).  I did learn many

things as a recruiter, but in all the years I have been in the Air

Force, I never before experienced being "turned on by the company" and

treated the way that I was.  I always gave 150%, and assumed (perhaps in

hindsight, incorrectly) that I would receive the support I needed to do

my job, certainly not having to defend myself from false accusations. 

This incident has made me cautious about trusting folks, and it has been

a real challenge to regain my self-confidence.

I studied very hard to make MSgt again, and I'm happy to tell you that I

will finally sew on my new MSgt stripes this Friday!  Exceeding the

promotion cutoff score to be selected for promotion isn't an easy thing

to do with a non-referral "2" EPR (about 20 points) figured into the

mix.  It is bittersweet in knowing that if I already was a MSgt as I

should've been, the first nonselectee in my current career field would

be raising their glass in celebration of their promotion.  I've hired a

civilian attorney to prepare my AFBCMR package, and it should be

finalized soon to request reinstatement my original promotion date and

to undo what's been done, but it would be very difficult indeed to

"undo" all the damage that's been done.  Ironically, if I had not "stood

my ground", but instead accepted an Article 15, I would most likely have

kept my stripe to MSgt and it would only have meant $600 from my pay,

instead of the $10,000+ this situation has cost me.  But I couldn't do

that...My Grandmother was a firm believer in standing up for yourself

and in "doing the right thing that is in your heart", it must have

rubbed off on me.

I know I've ran on a bit here, but I felt compelled to try to express

that I'm not "out to get AFRS", even though many times bitter memories

come rushing forth, I just feel that the story must be told.  

Sir, I could fill volumes to bring about the ultimate in boredom

(hahaha!!!) with all the details of my tale.  I think your heart is in

the right spot, and with your previous experience in AFRS, you'd

probably be the best AFRS Squadron Commander that anyone, from the

highest in AFRS to the newest recruiter could ask for, if that is your

calling.  Not a "softie", but balancing enforcement of standards with

fairness and common compassion.  I always try to use things taught to me

throughout my career, one of the simplest, yet most important I've found

is what a wise NCO taught me -- "Take care of your people, and they will

take care of the mission".  I'm convinced that those words of wisdom are

how we will succeed in doing our jobs and our mission.  I hope the

addition of First Sergeants to AFRS squadrons is helping.  Lord knows in

today's environment, recruiters need all the help they can get.  Yours

is a difficult career decision, Sir.  I wish you success and the best of

luck in all you do, and the choices you make.  Thank you for taking the

time to write to me.  I appreciate your honesty, sincerity, and your

interest in my situation.  

Al Lamb (aka Airminder)

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR *********** On 6/4/98, at 12:26 PM, M. wrote:  Hmmmmmmmm........It has taken me about 2 weeks to finally read through most of the information on your page ( 8 to 8 shifts, oh yeah). I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I only wish I'd come across this page about 9 months ago. I WOULD HAVE NEVER SIGNED UP FOR RECRUITING DUTY! I'm fairly new to this, 6 months on the bag, and haven't made goal yet. It doesn't help that I'm a senior airman either. Often times I feel senior leadership doesn't have confidence in me only because of rank. All in all, it really hasn't been too bad. But I'm beginning to see that yes, recruiting service is numbers driven. All "they" want to see is that the number on the right meets or exceeds the number on the left. Doesn't matter how you got it, how long you had to work for it or when, just get it done. You could work 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you're not 100% for the year, well, guess you won't be getting a 5 on that EPR. That's bull@#%*. I remember reading somewhere on your page a suggestion given by someone for AFRS to not focus so much on end result, but least CONSIDER the effort these recruiters are putting are. Sure, there are some lazy son of a guns out there, and they deserved to be punished. To any active duty people out there considering recruiting, if you haven't figured it out already: STAY AWAY!!!!! SAVE YOURSELF!!!!!   To my fellow RIC's currently in the fight to recruit america's finest: Always do your best and always give it your ALL. I've managed to deal with the stresses because it's only a job (better not let the superintendent hear me say that!). I mean, bust your butt, but keep God and family first. If I get a 3 or 4 from recruiting and get fired or something, then so be it. At least you can go back with the dignity of knowing YOU DID YOUR VERY BEST. That's all I can try to do. If your best isn't good enough for recruiting, screw it. God has a plan in store for each and every one of us. If recruiting isn't a part of it, then all the better. God bless, and happy recruiting (lol).
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR *********** On 5/14/98, at 7:44 AM, D. wrote:  Hi Bruce,  (Note: This message was forwarded to Bruce -- Airminder) I came upon your E-mail about AF Recruiting.  I lasted only 29 months in RS (92-94) in **.  I always felt like a failure in that job.  I had never felt that way before.  What was worse was that I was a member of two seperate flights while in RS and both flights were #1 in squadron and group.  I had the honor of covering an office that was empty for two months. This office was only 18 miles from mine.  But I made goal for the next 6 months out of that office by just opening the door and checking the answering machine.  None of those numbers came from my own office.  The two months in that office were the best times I had in RS.  I was relaxed and even got to see my family.  I agree with all of your ideas.  They were things that myself and the other recruiters who were like me discussed.  I left recruiting unscathed in my career (Thank Goodness), but there are others who weren't as lucky.  I am sooooooooooo happy to be back in the Air Force.  It's the only thing I regret in my life.  Thanks for listening!!!
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR *********** On 5/1/98, at 9:00 PM, S. wrote:  Dear Al,     I feel your pain partner, being an ex-recruiter myself.  I was a recruiter for 2 1/2 years in the worst squadron (production wise) in the Air Force.  I went into recruiting as a Tech. Sgt.  with 15 years service, my decorations included 2 Air medals, 1 Aerial Achievement Medal, and 3 Commendation medals, so I was no slacker.  I too received not 1 but 2 LOR's while in recruiting, both of them as bogus as a $3 bill.  The squadron was also kind enough to give me 3 EPR's in a 12 month period with an overall rating of 3 each time.  I was also lucky enough to get goaled 5 bodies while I was at the NCO Academy for 6 weeks.  My first letter of Reprimand was for not seeing a DEP for 2 months.  When I explained to the Squadron Commander that if I did not see him for that long how did I get his H.S. diploma and take it to MEPS, he just stuttered and said 'well there are other things also", funny that the other things were not on that LOR.  Later just before I was relieved the 1st Sgt. came to visit he informed me that they are considering removing me from recruiting.  I then took him over to my computer and showed him where my computer had been accessed and incriminating statements from my former Flt Sup.  telling me to recontact DQ'd applicants to put in the AF, I also told him to look in my training records and see where they certified me without me ever knowing it, I still have the 623 and my signature is not on the certifying page acknowledging being certified.  I also told him that I was speaking to my Congressman and he was very interested in how things were going.  Well in 3 hours the CCU shows up and says it is nothing personal that it is a numbers game and they will give me my 2nd LOR and send me back to my old career field,  no hard feelings but you just cannot leave recruiting without something for justification.  Yes I was getting a production eval at the time and a buddy of mine in the squadron called me and said he heard the CCU talking with the Flt Sup giving me the eval that they would like for him to get something in which I could receive an Article 15.  After the Eval the CCU called my Commander and informed him that there was not enough evidence for an Art. 15, but I could still get an LOR.  So alas I left the recruiting service for my old career field.  When I reported in my new 1st Sgt. ,an ex-recruiter also,  looked over my UIF and my personnel records  and asked who did I piss off to incur the wrath of the recruiting service. He could tell that the LOR's were merely eyewash to move me out of AFRS.  My new commander also wanted to know how someone with 9's & 5's on his EPR's  from the day they came into the AF and even the first year in recruiting could get 3, 3 EPR's in a 12 month period, said it sounded like a screw job to him and he pitched the UIF into the circular file. There are many other stories also but to cut it short the CCU was removed 2 months later and that April the squadron had its ORI, the overall grade was marginal, and believe it or not the training section got an UNSAT,  amazing how they find a scapegoat to try and save their hides.  I really liked being a recruiter and it was a good job, unfortunately most of the upper echelon that I met were nothing more than sadistic little worms on some sort of power trip.  Do not get me wrong recruiting has some super people in it.  Those people are few and far between however and the organization overall is just one big Good ol' boys network.
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR *********** On 4/28/98, at 1:04 PM, K. T. wrote:  Nice info on Air Force Recruiting. I enjoyed it. The Marine Corps say that recruiting is the closest thing to combat.  I believe that. I spent 3 years (1981-1984) recruiting for the Marine Corps, RS MPLS located downtown  MPLS.  Recruiting did ruin my career (to many double signed fitness reports), and I  got out after 8 years.  Here are some insights: Quota was 4 per month, if you didn't have 1 in by the end of the first week, you were  behind the power curve.  If you were behind the power curve you worked Saturdays, and  until 8 or 10 PM.  Toward the end of the month (depending on the RS standing within  the district) they got nasty.  Daily visits and phone badgering.  We would get invited  to 2200 hour "prayer meeting" at the RS headquarters with either the XO (what a dick)  or the Sgt. Major (we all referred to him as NMQ or Cat4).  Here you showed your days  activities.  I'd drive 18 miles at 22:00 and wait in line for my 10 minute chewing,  then go home.  It's amazing the games that the command could come up with.  At this  point I was the master at pencil whipping.  They used to hold prayer meeting for all  the station NCOIC, thinking beat them, they'll beat the recruiters.  During monthly  meetings they'd throw stale donuts to those at zero, in an attempt to humiliate them  in front of their peers.  I was relieved after 2 years, only to become a supply gopher  for 4 months pending orders. That was a treat, as the NCOIC was a wannabe and disliked  recruiters.  We received a new C.O., who didn't understand why such a motivated marine  was doing supply stuff, and a couple of E-7's put their stuff on the line, and he  re-instated me. I could go on for hours with the stories, groupie parties, illegal activities,  investigations, document forgery, test cheating, ect... It's funny to see some of the most squared away marines (a recruiter qualification)  turn into liars and cheats through the 60 to 100 hour work weeks associated with  recruiting.  I saw a lot of careers die, and families broken during this time.   Not only Marines, but all services, as a lot of us recruiters (all branches) partied  together.  I would have retired last year, had I stayed in.  Fortunately I've started a very  successful computer consulting firm, and consider my career path much better then  military retirement. I owe allot to the military but feel the gain in confidence and selling instilled  from recruiting has greatly effected my success.  I wish I had a former recruiter or 2  (any branch) on my staff.  People who've been in the trenches. Semper Fi -Ken
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR *********** On 4/28/98, at 9:28 AM, Chris wrote:  A fellow 99500, that got the bone for using the phone. Spent 8 years working for the wonderful people that will do anything to make goal. Was on the FAST track to stardom. Silver badge 1st year, then off the bag to MEPS. Was hired two yrs later for GROUP OPERATIONS. Never got to complete the move. (Wife became ill, so RS answer was to separate me). Overcame that, moved to another Group, another MEPS job. LONG story short, offered a MED job, shouldn't have taken it. LOTS of pressure to lie, thats not the way I became sucessful, but it was my SUPS way of doing business. He tried to bury me, lost the badge, BUT ... HE GOT THE AX ALSO!!! That was the best part. DRAGGED the lowlife scum down so he couldn't hurt anybody else. (He had a reputation for firing his recruiters) I was the last one he got. He got what he delt out. Everybody told me to appeal it. NOPE ... had enough of the ORGANIZATION THAT EATS ITS OWN! Retired now. Miss the blue suit, the people, and living near a base. But I don't miss the aggravation. See ya Chris
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR *********** On 5/30/98, at 11:07 AM, L. wrote:  Just wanted to let you know that i just recently got back from the almighty  recruiting school.  I last 2 days there, with what i saw and heard disgusted  me so much it wasn't funny.  Later buddy
-----Original Message----- 04/28/98 Very interesting.. Al.. You may not know me, but you may soon. I too have dealt with the ADC.. have had my web page address forwarded to the AFRS/JAG by E-7 T.. I have a LOC currently in effect that tells me to get rid of my web page... and have refused to do so, in consultation with the ADC. Recruiting Service can be fixed, but not without good leadership, and unfortunately it either doesn't exist, or is afraid to step forward and take the bullets for its people. And the ones that do step forward.. really don't last long, once they are shot anyway.. so who can blame them for only taking care of the mission and messing over the people?  I just couldn't be one of them that sits by and let someone screw over the constitution that they swore to defend. And I can tell that you could never be one either. Hats off to you, as I may be needing legal advice from you in the near future. Oh, and by the way... TSgt Jeff S.. is obviously either living in a dream world of denial, or is just the worlds best cabin boy in history. In other words.. he doesn't have the balls to agree with anyone other than his boss. 
-----Original Message----- From:   D.S. Sent:   Friday, December 19, 1997 10:39AM To: Subject:        Airminder's Virtual Folly I came across your Web Page by accident yesterday and was absolutely in shock - somewhat.  I spent four exhausting years battling my career in RS from 92-96.  I have some documents I think you would like to put on your page and I would like to know if your information available on the web is allowed to be downloaded and copied.  I still have some buddies I would like to share this information with and get some more material for you and your page. We'll have to get together and share war stories.
Airminder's Note:  Although it's physically impossible to stop anyone from  downloading or copying material presented on this web site, I reserve the  copyrights to this material.  Each request to use this material will be  considered on a case-by-case basis.  In your case, DS, you may use this  information in its original form for your personal use, but not for any  type of commercial purpose or financial gain.  Credit must be given where due.
-----Original Message-----

From:   XXX []

Sent:   Monday, January 19, 1998 6:22 PM


Subject:        Airminder's Virtual Folly

I just finished reading your exploits in Air Force Recruiting.  As a

retired major and former Ops Officer in recruiting I find the story very

believable given the stories I have heard since leaving recruiting in '88. 

I had recruiters who did everything from screw their step-daughters to sell

tours of Air Force bases to not make goal for months at a time.  Never were

they treated with disrespect, never was their integrity questioned, and

never were they belittled.  Hell, you can fire a guy with dignity.  We

allowed most to return unscathed.

If you were actually treated the way you describe, and I have no reason to

think otherwise, I hope the guys rot.  I think your area defense counselor 

should push this to the highest levels.

Did you get your stripe back?  I hope so.  

Enjoy your site!!!

Airminder's Note:  Still awaiting BCMR...Earned it again the hard way, sir!  
-----Original Message-----

From:   Bob H []

Sent:   Saturday, September 27, 1997 11:36 PM


Subject:        Airminder's Virtual Folly

Young man I'm now retired from the Air Force but can understand how you

must feel.  After almost ten years in recruiting (during which I was a

three time Gold Badge recepient, Top Rookie Recuiter, Top Squadron NPS 

recruiter four years consecutively, recognized as best USAF Recruiting

Trainer, Top Flight Supervisor, Top MEPS Supervisor, Top Squadron

Operations Supervisor, Top Senior NCO, and selected as a Group

Operations Supervisor) I was also relieved from Recruiting Service and

non promotion letter was submitted before an alleged incident could be

proven.  Oh by the way, all charges were later dismissed after I had

left recruiting.

-----Original Message-----

From:   stephen p []

Sent:   Tuesday, December 16, 1997 11:37 PM


Subject:        Airminder's Virtual Folly

Just a note to let you know I know how you feel. I left the Air Force

after 10 years, due to recruiting. It is a long story but basically I

bucked the system and was hung out to dry by my flight sup. I cant say I

have missed a day of it though. I was in the XXXth and knew things that

would make the nightly news about flight sups and the superintendent,

but the commander could have cared less, I even gave him a copy of what

I knew but he never followed up on any of it. I could go on for hours

about the circumstances surrounding my case, but it is typical of

several of the people I knew during my 3 1/2 years recruiting. Something

needs to be done but there is no one who wants to hear it. feel free to

email me at

-----Original Message-----

From:   Terrance []

Sent:   Sunday, December 28, 1997 2:06 AM


Subject:        Airminder's Virtual Folly

Hello, I was browsing the web and ran across your page,  I was once 

an AF  recruiter from Jun 92 - Jun 96, I agree with alot of what you have 

to say about the job.  I was one of the few that was a silver badge winner 

every year that I was out on the bag and my last year on the bag I was in 

the top 10% of all recruiter in the nation.  I did manage to get good eprs 

and a AFCM once I left recruiting, but even as a successful recruiter I had 

my share of threats when I didn't produce the way my flt sup wanted me to, 

it went as far as her threatning to take away my line number to TSgt (and we 

both know how difficult of a task that was to get in recruiting).  I always like to 

educate people on the real deal of recruiting for the AF, if you ever need any 

info from me don't hesitate to email me.

-----Original Message-----

From:   Tom B []

Sent:   Tuesday, December 30, 1997 5:04 AM


Subject:        Airminder's Virtual Folly

my wife found your web page on air force recruiting..  have to tell you 

I know what you're talking about - "been there, done that, got the t-shirt 

AND the two "3's" to go with them". i lasted a year and a half in afrs - too long!

-----Original Message-----

From:   jerry h []

Sent:   Sunday, January 18, 1998 6:41 PM


Subject:        Airminder's Virtual Folly

...I "crashed" in Sept and was ordered to XXX AFB for Psyche eval, 

Commander directed.  He, the doctor, recommended my return to my 

prior AFSC due to the situation.  They finally did my relief package and 

then held it up. They wanted me to recruit after I was relieved and I 

refused.  I went through the chain of command and they were pissed 

that I narc'd them out.   Hence the charges against me.  

I went to the IG at AETC level, the DOD IG, and my congressman's office

and I am waiting on something on my behalf.  The AETC IG gave it to

recruiting IG so I know that I will get nothing in return...

...boy am i enthusiastic!!!

-----Original Message-----

From:   Roy []

Sent:   Sunday, December 07, 1997 3:28 PM


Subject:        Airminder's Virtual Folly

Your notes are interesting to say the least.  I have one to add to it.

I was a Recruiter from 74 to 83 when I retired.  I carried the bag,

spent time as a Squadron Trainer, Sq Ops Super, NCOIC A&P, Supervisor

for OTS Team.  I was hand picked to go to a squadron that was in trouble

and was tasked with helping bail it out.  We did.  I loved the

Recruiting Service and gave it all I had.  It was good to me also.  Now

comes the hard part.

My son grew up in the Af & Recruiting.  When He enlisted, he wanted so

desperately to be a bag carrier.  He entered Recruiting School and was

an Honor Grad.  Then came disaster.

He was sent to an office that had not made goal in many years.  He

immediately tried to do all he had been taught and from lessons from

me.  He was NOT provided assistance from his supervisor, Sq or Group.

He was not given an A&P visit until he had been there a year.  He was

not given a visit from the Sq trainer, nor did his supervisor do

anything except to say that he was on his own and expected to make

goal.  When a recruiter from another office left, the others in the

flight were forced to abandon their zones and go fill in the vacant

zone.  They also had to absorb the quota.

My son asked for assistance on many occassions and was not provided

anything except the honor of working from 8 to 8 Mon thru Sat.  Hows

that for nice hours?  He was expected to transport his applicants to

MEPS for processing.  It mattered not that his wife had a baby, or that

he had no vacation during that time.   It was goal, goal, goal.

My son is white and was given a zone made up entirely of Black, urban,

crime infested, and low ASVAB scores and expected to survive.  He asked

several times to have the zone reapportioned and each time was refused.

He did not make goal for 3 years, although only missed it by 1 or 2 each

time.  Yet, when he asked to remain in Recruiting, he was denied because

he was not ATB.  The bottom line is that he was never given a fair

chance to succeed.  When I was in Squadron, it was unthinkable to leave

someone alone like this.  We spent a lot of our time going to individual

recruiters and assisting them and training them.  My son was left out to

dry.  For that, I am ashamed to say that I was ever a recruiter!  They

do not take care of their own like in the past.  Now days, you either do

or don't, alone with no help or guidance, yet if you don't, you get

letters of reprimand and eventually fired.

I used to be proud to be a Recruiter, but now, I agree, 

Recruiting Sucks, and I advise any person wanting to make 

a career of the AF to steer clear of Recuiting Service!  

It will ruin your career fast.

-----Original Message-----

From: "Rog" <>


Subject: Airminder's Virtual Folly

Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 22:06:27 -1000


What an eye opener.  The farther I can get from Recruiting the better.

Thanks for the info on your page!

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