Happy New Year! Have you referred anybody to our recruiting office in 2017?
Why lead off my comments for the New Year so bluntly? Quite simply, recruiting should be everybody’s #1 goal this year. If you read last month’s update from the Nation Guard Bureau Director of Personnel, Brig. Gen. Cashman, you saw some pretty sobering facts regarding the potential recruiting pool for candidates to serve in the United States military. I won’t rehash all the details, but the summary is that, out of 324 million Americans, the pool of candidates nationwide is approximately 465,000. When you consider that our recruiting office doesn’t recruit nationwide, that leaves our recruiter with a potential candidate pool that is probably better measured in hundreds, not thousands.
So, back to my opening statement: If each member of our wing referred only one candidate to the recruiting office this year, we should easily be able to raise our manning numbers from the current 88 percent to the wing goal of 98 percent. Rapidly achieving this high manning number not only helps us protect the missions we currently have, but gives our state leadership leverage when pursuing future missions.
Our people are what make our wing great, but it’s the missions our Airman perform that truly make us stand above the rest. As we embark on the first regularly scheduled drill of 2017, I encourage all of you to take a few minutes to reflect and document your unit’s accomplishments of the previous year, then set new goals for 2017. Much like many of us have set New Year’s resolutions for personal improvements, we should all be setting new goals that benefit our organization as well as your careers.
The new year will undoubtedly bring many changes to the Department of Defense, Air Force and Air National Guard that are beyond our control. With a new president and executive cabinet taking the lead this year, we can only speculate on changes that will affect us at the national level. However, we should focus on areas that we can control, and I believe that there are many squadron, group and wing level programs that are in need of attention from motivated Airman. I also know there are many Airman in the wing that need to achieve their next level of professional military education to be competitive for the next promotion.
I wish you all an outstanding year, and hope you achieve all of your goals. I continue to be extraordinarily proud to be part of the Fighting Jayhawk team, and I know that 2017 will be our best year yet!
Col Chris A. Snyder, commander, 184th Cyber Operations Group