AZ Guard: Every Airman is a recruiter

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Tinashe Machona
  • 161st Air Refueling Wing

Members of the 161st Air Refueling Wing’s Maintenance Group, travelled to Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Jan. 15, to talk with students about the Wing’s mission and provide information on joining the Arizona Air National Guard.

CGCC offers signature programs such as Aviation and Applied Technology, Aircraft Maintenance Technology and Flight Technology, skills that are used daily by the Airmen at the 161st ARW .

“Today’s objective was to build the foundations of a strong partnership with our community and the advantages available to them by joining the Arizona Air National Guard, if they so choose,” said Chief Master Sgt. David Meehan, 161st Air Refueling Wing’s aircraft maintenance superintendent. “Every Airman is a recruiter whether they are in or out of uniform and the application of that concept means that Citizen Airman should play their part by going into the community to spread the word of what the Air Guard offers.”

Tech. Sgt. Alan Palma, a recruiter with the 161st ARW, also stressed the importance of Airmen telling their story of why they serve the community when given the chance.

“It is paramount to maintain continuity in our forces by bringing in new recruits,” Palma said. “Retirement and attrition is a fact of life, which can only be circumvented by importing new talent, which will carry-on the legacy of our heritage.”

He added, that diversity is one of the foremost principal ideas that represents the strength of the Air Guard. He said the Wing’s diversity extends beyond race, thought and even recruits entering the Guard from different military branches possessing valuable innovative skills.

“I would not alter, in any way, my decision 36 years ago to join the U.S. Air Force, leading to my current position in the Arizona National Guard,” Meehan said. “The camaraderie that comes with service to your nation, with brothers-and-sisters in arms, is like none other. It is a satisfying feeling, which I know new recruits will experience once they enter our ranks.”

For more information about joining the Arizona Air National Guard contact Tech. Sgt. Alan Palma or Tech. Sgt. Matthew Garcia at (602) 302-9260 or (602) 302-9519.

Health care, education, travel and retirement are only a few of the benefits available to recruits after joining the Guard,” Palma said. “Wearing the cloth of our nation and exhibiting pride is a by-product of your decision to be part-time blue, full-time you, Arizona Air National Guardsmen.”