U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, Adjutant General, Maryland National Guard, along with U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Allyson R. Solomon, Assistant Adjutant General-Air, and Brig. Gen. Scott Kelly, 175th Wing Commander, cut the ribbon of the new Air National Guard recruiting storefront in Baltimore, Md., on June 9, 2012, while recruiters Staff Sgt. Alexanderia Woodring and Tech Sgt. Robert Carr hold on. (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hughes)
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, Adjutant General, Maryland National Guard, smiles while introducing the community to the new Air National Guard recruiting storefront in Baltimore, Md., on June 9, 2012, during the ribbon cutting ceremony. (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hughes)
(L-R) U.S. Air Force recruiters Master Sgt. Robert Sweeny, Staff Sgt. Alexanderia Woodring, Tech Sgt. Robert Carr, Tech Sgt. Megan Chalk, and Senior Master Sgt. Raymond Butler introduce the new Air National Guard recruiting storefront in Baltimore, Md., to the community on June 9, 2012. (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Hughes)
by Tech. Sgt. David Speicher
175th Wing Public Affairs
6/10/2012 - BALTIMORE -- The Maryland Air National Guard now has a storefront recruiting office open for business in Baltimore.
"The base is a great location, but this provides walk-in capability," said Master Sgt. Robert Sweeney, Recruiting Office Supervisor. "The base didn't provide foot traffic. Here with the banks, restaurants and stores people walk-in and get information and we try to turn that into a possible lead."
"It makes it a lot easier for the applicants to get to us. This is less intimidating. It can be intimidating for a 17 year-old to pull up to a gate with an armed guard," said Senior Master Sgt. Ray Butler, Recruiting and Retention Superintendent. "There is a lot of walk-in traffic."
"This is the first time we have ventured off base. We want to be easier to get to then on base. This is a huge step getting back to openness. This is going to help everybody to know our name and what we contribute not just to the state but also to the nation." Brig. Gen. Allyson R. Solomon, Assistant Adjutant General-Air.
"The biggest thing it will get us branded. People walk-in and don't know who we are. People still don't know who we are," said Sweeney.
"It is a different environment. It is a better sales environment. It makes a good first impression," said Sweeney.
The recruiters met with the Army Corp of Engineers and were given five or six locations. They were looking for foot traffic. This location was selected for its foot traffic, closeness to I-695 and major retail outlets.
The recruiters will maintain an office at both locations. The primary location will be at the storefront but they will still have an office location on base.
Sweeney said the recruiters love their new location. They have their own personal space and it is comfortable.
This storefront is funded by the National Guard Bureau; no funds were taken from the base to open this location. This will be a model for the NGB for store front recruiting offices for other states.
While most people have heard of the educational benefits and job training that the MDANG provides, there are other, less tangible benefits: the leadership skills, sense of dedication to something greater than one self, and self-discipline learned not only pay dividends to our members, but to the communities from which they come.
This new storefront is a great stride forward spreading the word about our own hometown Air Force.