The evolving COVID-19 crisis is not yet affecting Air Force recruiting, but it’s only a matter of time before the pandemic takes its toll.
Recruiting offices remain open, but communication with prospective recruits is increasingly via social media, rather than direct contact.
“So far nobody has reported any issues with recruiting, but common sense would say that as the nation limits its movement, at some point, that is going to have an impact,” Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein told reporters on March 18.
There is a four- to six-month backlog of new recruits waiting to enter Basic Military Training through the service’s delayed entry program, “so there is a little bit of a reserve there,” noted Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, USAF’s manpower chief.
BMT operations are considered mission-essential and training is continuing as usual, though for the time being families can view graduation ceremonies and events only via video, Air Education and Training Command announced.
Kelly said with schools closing and families self-quarantining at home the change in communications techniques is no surprise to recruiters. “It’s already been part of what we do,” he said. “There’s a lot of online outreach and social media that happens. We won’t be able to do as much of the face-to-face outreach that we have today, but we haven’t really seen the impact yet.”