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We're all recruiters

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- We’re the face the public identifies with the armed forces. We’re ambassadors for our military and our country no matter where we are around the globe. We’re all members of the United States Air Force. We’re all Airmen.

We’re all recruiters.

The Recruiter’s Assistance Program – or RAP – consists of two weeks in which an Airman, who has been granted permission from their command, is an assistant to a local Air Force recruiting office. Duties can include anything from helping file paperwork and other office-based functions, to school visits – talking to students about joining the world’s greatest Air Force.

As a member of the Air Force, we’re all a part of one family – brothers and sisters in the profession of arms. The RAP program allows members to extend advice to prospective recruits and help answer questions current members wish they had answered prior to joining the military. Often times, this additional resource of down-to-Earth discussion can be the final push they need to decide to serve their country.

One of the benefits for current members of taking time to assist the recruiters via RAP is “free leave.”

The recruiting command will sign a memorandum once the two-week RAP is completed, and the Airman is able to get 12 days of leave back for their assistance after returning to their base. This is just a small token of appreciation for designating time to help grow the force.

While Airmen normally take advantage of the RAP program when transitioning from their technical school location to their first duty station, RAP isn’t restricted to a one-time opportunity. The only requirement is to be a positive representative of the Air Force and have command approval.

Personally, I’ve completed the RAP program twice, and it’s one of the highlights of my year. It’s a gratifying experience to share my story to potential Airmen who may be scared to leave home and join the military. Being able to see their confidence rise in their decision upon hearing my story – and seeing what the Air Force can provide for them and their family really emphasizes the importance of the program.

To be able to share the Air Force story and help prepare new Airmen for what they’ve signed up to do for their country is yet another reminder that each member who wears the uniform truly is the face of the service, an advocate, and that we are all spokesmen for the United States Air Force.