Fired Up

Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike Command boss, speaks at the Pentagon, Nov. 14, 2014. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash

Jan. 20, 2015—The number of Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets who are making the nuclear and missile operations career field their No. 1 choice has increased substantially over the last year as Air Force Global Strike Command bolsters and changes its recruiting efforts.

In 2013, not a single cadet listed this career field, designated 13N, as one of their top three choices, while less than 20 cadets listed it in their top six, according to a December 2014 AFGSC Force Improvement Program newsletter to airmen. In 2014, however, “174 cadets had 13N in their top six, 65 in their top three, and 29 listed the 13N career field as their top choice,” states the newsletter.

AFGSC boss Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson attributes the spike to a renewed effort to better tell the command’s story.

“We have a really positive story to tell,” he told Air Force Magazine in a Jan. 9 interview. “We have a really important mission. We have really good people and if we give them the right education, training, and experience. If we make sure they are confident and proud. If we make sure they are personally and professional fulfilled, then we get mission success.”

However, Wilson said, sometimes that success is not “not accurately portrayed,” so AFGSC took to the road to change that.

Both general officers and young lieutenants from the Air Force’s three missile bases visited some of the major ROTC detachments over the last year to share their story.

“The power is that [cadets] are listening to someone who was in their shoes two or three years ago to tell them this is what it’s like,” said Wilson. “We got a completely different dynamic this year” and “I think we’ll see that same thing across a bunch of our career fields, whether it be security forces, helicopters, [or] maintenance.

“The more we can tell the story from the eyes of the airmen who are doing [the mission], the more fired up people will be to come be a part of it,” he said.