Recruiting detachment hopes to expand Aviation Inspiration Mentorship Wing program to all Air Force flying units in 2023

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  • Air Force Recruiting Service Det. 1

In the Air Force Recruiting Service's efforts to overcome current U.S. military recruiting challenges with a "whole of service" approach, Detachment 1’s rated diversity team has reached out to flying units to garner support in the recruiting mission. This was the grass roots beginnings of the AIM (Aviation Inspiration Mentorship) Wing program in 2022, something AFRS Det. 1 hopes to expand in 2023 to include every flying wing in the Air Force.

AFRS Det. 1 hosted their first in-person training for AIM Wing directors Nov. 15 -17, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. During this event, directors were trained on Rated Diversity Improvement (RDI) initiatives and how they can have an impact on their local communities.

AIM Wing directors are the central focal point for RDI in their local community and wing. They are tasked with organizing and executing events that inspire the next generation of aviators.  RDI is an initiative set to improve the diversity of the four rated career fields in the U.S. Air Force. Since its beginning in 2018, Air Force Recruiting Service’s Detachment 1 has been the tactical implementation unit for RDI.

“Improving the diversity of our rated career fields only strengthens our abilities as warfighters and using our current aviators and their stories helps inspire the next generation of aviators,” said Lt. Col. Park, AFRS Det. 1 commander.

The AIM Wing program empowers Air Force flying wings to engage with their local communities and help amplify recruiting efforts nationwide. So far, there are thirty-four flying wings that participate in the AIM Wing program. AFRS Det. 1 is looking to incorporate all flying wings across the Air Force in the Aim Wing program in the upcoming year.

“Hosting this training was important because we were able to have representatives from AFRS come and speak on their programs,” said Capt. Brandon Russell, AFRS Det. 1 AIM program director “and having the training in-person was even more impactful because we were able to build relationships and partnerships amongst the AIM wings and AFRS.”

AIM directors also learned how they can have an impact on total force recruiting and how they can incorporate resources such as local recruiters, flight simulators, Civil Air Patrol, and regional USAF bands to inspire others at outreach events.

The training week finished with a visit to Highlands High School in San Antonio. At the school, the Aim Wing directors, local recruiters, and AFRS Det.1 members engaged with high school students during joint classroom presentations, flight simulators, and Aim High Flight Academy presentations.