What it takes to earn a Golden Eagle
By Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs
/ Published June 27, 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Recruiters from the 145th Force Support Squadron received The Regional Golden Eagle Award for top-performance in 2014, as well as seven individual awards during a ceremony held June 7, 2015 at the North Carolina Air National Guard base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Brig. Gen. Roger E. Williams, Jr., Assistant Adjutant General for Air, North Carolina Air National Guard, had the honor of presenting the awards.
Thirteen states competed for the awards after being evaluated on the most accessions, which includes enlistments and commissions, community involvement, school outreach and retention rates.
The 145th FSS recruiters had a total of 222 accessions, plus between just two recruiters, 149 people were enlisted or commissioned. Leading the stats was Tech. Sgt. Francis Strother who accessioned 78 members, breaking the existing N.C. recruiting record.
"We did astounding things that fiscal year. We haven't received this award before; it was the first time ever. The whole team was in smiles," said Tech. Sgt. Lonnie Brooks.
Brooks has been a production recruiter for six years, and he, along with the other recruiters, volunteered for the position as a way to give back to the Air Force.
The work put in during business hours is seen by other members of the 145th Airlift Wing but what isn't seen is the extra mile the recruiting office goes.
It doesn't have to be associated with recruiting to get this team involved. For the fourth year in a row the team gave up a Saturday to support the 2nd Harvest Food Bank during their annual kick-off event by collecting, organizing and moving food donations.
Their work ethic stems from passion and a caring attitude for each person.
"We didn't plan for it," Brooks stated, "and it was a weekend we had off, but I came in to the office to knock out a few things and get some people scheduled for Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Low and behold, Sgt. Strother comes in 15 minutes later for the same thing. He just wanted to make sure his applicants were taken care of. We were here for the same reason and have the same work ethic."
"Last year was a phenomenal year. They take a lot of work home and take a lot of responsibility onto themselves," said Lt. Col. Lisa Kirk, 145th FSS commander.
Unlike active duty recruiters, Air Nation Guard recruiters work with individuals from start to finish, preparing documents, conducting career counseling, setting up dates for enlistments, commissions, MEPS, basic training and technical school. It all takes time.