The recruiting services for the active-duty Air Force and Air National Guard have agreed to combine their resources and staff for advertising and marketing.
In a release July 2, the Air Force Recruiting Service said that it had signed a mutual support agreement to improve recruitment marketing, including integrating their staffs.
Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, who assumed command of AFRS June 11, said in the release that the agreement is another step toward the Air Force’s goal of creating a “total force recruiting” strategy, combining recruiting for the active-duty, Guard and Reserve into one effort.
“Having our Air National Guard join forces under the same, single contract with Air Force Recruiting Service will drive even greater collaboration and ensure we work as one world-class team getting the message out about serving full time or part time in the Air Force,” Thomas said.
Thomas’ predecessor, Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, said at a conference last year that combining recruitment efforts would be more efficient and reduce confusion among recruits. For example, Leavitt said, a potential recruit who is not able to move out of state might walk away, thinking active duty was the only option. A more integrated recruiting strategy could make it easier for a recruiter to steer that person toward the Reserve instead.
The Air National Guard said that having an advertising contract once again — its last one expired more than 10 months ago — will allow it to again spread the word about the career opportunities it can provide.
In addition to a national marketing strategy, the agreement will allow the Guard to have local marketing plans for the 54 states and territories where it has units, the release said. The Guard will be working with states in the months to come to develop marketing plans and put them in place.
Guard personnel will also be added to the Air Force Recruiting Service’s marketing team at its Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, headquarters, the release said. Air Force Reserve already moved some of its personnel to that team about a year ago.
Total force recruiting also covers Air Force Academy admissions, Air Force civilian hiring, and Air Force ROTC, as well as recruiting for the newly created Space Force.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.