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Unit members join Recruiting Office

MASSACHUSETTS -- Most people spend their summer vacations lying on the beach, having cook-outs with family and enjoying a few cocktails. However, for the two newest recruiters with the Massachusetts Air National Guard the summer months were anything but a party.

Tech. Sgt. Kevin O'Brien and Staff Sgt. Rhon Salmon successfully completed the challenging six-week Basic Recruiter Course at Lackland AFB and returned home as summer - a historically busy time for recruiting - was just beginning.

"The pace is frenetic," said Salmon. "Everyday in recruiting there are new things to learn," he added.

O'Brien agrees with his co-workers assertions.

"There is a lot more to recruiting than I ever thought or expected. I am constantly learning. Time management and appositive attitude are key," he explained.

Salmon, a native of Jamaica, spent time in the Army before joining the Air Guard in 2008. His interest in the military first sparked while watching coverage of the Persian Gulf War.

"I remember asking my mom 'why do soldiers fight?' She told me that they fought to help good people. That was all I needed to hear. I believe in the United States and our place in this world. This is the only place in the world where a story such as mine is possible."

O'Brien, who grew up in Mashpee, is a veteran of the active-duty Air Force and said he always wanted a job that allowed him to help people change their lives. In fact, he went through several rounds of interviews before being selected for this position and it was his love of the Air Guard that helped him persevere.

"Joining the Air Force was the best decision I ever made, and now I am in a position to help others change their lives for the better."

Collectively, the newest members of the Recruiting and Retention Team bring over 18 years total time-in-service. This experience has proven extremely beneficial to the office.

"Rhon and Kevin bring a lot of diverse ideas and backgrounds to the recruiting office," said Master Sgt. Kevin Eccleston, recruiting office supervisor. "I like the new ideas that they have brought to the table which will help us meet our goals." They also already have respect and rapport with unit members, which has made their transition to their new roles smooth, he added.

Both O'Brien and Sergeant Salmon want those unit members to know that they are up to the challenge of recruiting the best and brightest the Commonwealth has to offer.

"I am your biggest advocate, and I am very passionate," Salmon stated. "What I say does not come from a script - I believe it and mean it."

O'Brien is equally as sincere when asked to talk about his relationship with applicants.

"I have my applicant's best interest in mind, I treat my applicants the way I would want to be treated, and I genuinely enjoy helping people."

There will be plenty of people seeking the help and assistance of these new recruiters as a new school year begins. In addition to classrooms that are awaiting presentations there are numerous events that occur outside of normal duty hours and both recruiters said they are up to the challenge.

"I am looking forward to the back-to-back school visits, briefings and the busy weekends we have coming up," said Salmon, smiling.

O'Brien works in the Wareham storefront office and can be contacted at 508-737-2703. Salmon works in the Quincy storefront and can be contacted at 413-875-5563.