Recruiting with a New Global Landscape

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The role of a military recruiter from any branch is paramount.

"The Air Force recruiter is what we call 'the gatekeeper,'" said local Air Force recruiter Tsgt. Calvin Greer. "We pretty much play the most important role in the Air Force."

But getting people into some branches has become more difficult. The Air Force and Navy are now immensely popular options, while the Marines and Army are having a tougher time recruiting. According to Greer, business is strong.

"We've had an outstanding in this area for all services because the people show great patriotism for their country," said Tsgt. Greer.

The Department of Defense needs more and more soldiers and Marines to proceed with their operations abroad, while the Air Force and Navy are in need of fewer personnel because of their increasingly high tech jobs. But the war in Iraq is likely the main cause of the Army and Marine struggles.

"Considering the evening news everyday, it's in everyone's face," said Sfc. Lawrence Kagawa, the local army recruiter. "Everyone will wonder, 'Are we going to fight? What's going to happen to us? Where are we going to head off to?' And we want to address it early."

According to Kagawa, they average one new enlistee every two days. "They come in and say, 'We want a challenge. We still want to support and hold true to our convictions and take the challenge of being in the Army.'"

The local Air Force office sees some 100 people walk into their offices each week. "Pretty much the overall concept of the Air Force, our facilities and our mission is totally different," said Greer. "Each branch of the service adds another twist to our Department of Defense, so it's hard to say we're better."

Whether they cross into the blue or become an army of one, they all serve one flag.

In 2004, the defense department began the "Blue to Green" program, trying to encourage airmen to switch to the Army.