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STEP promotion
Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Trueman holds up the Stripes for Exceptional Performers certificate he received at his surprise promotion ceremony Dec. 19. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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Recruiter overcomes adversity on road to success

Posted 1/15/2014   Updated 1/15/2014 Email story   Print story


by Annette Crawford
Air Force Recruiting Service Public Affairs

1/15/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- As a teenager, Jeffrey Trueman was drawn to the Air Force because he felt it would get him on the right track. He hoped for some stability in his life, after a childhood of bouncing from one home to the next.

Looks like he found it. The enlisted accessions recruiter with the 319th Recruiting Squadron was promoted to technical sergeant Dec. 19 through the Stripes for Exceptional Performers program.

Master Sgt. David Bushnell, the E-Flight chief, called Trueman Dec. 18 and told him to be flexible with his schedule the following day. Trueman was going to be recognized by his squadron leaders for several awards, including being an Operation Blue Suit XXXV winner, and nabbing honors for the fourth quarter and 2013 as the command's top enlisted accessions recruiter.

Trueman, his wife and son were invited to dinner in Fairfield, Conn., along with Bushnell; Lt. Col. Anthony Stroup, 319th RCS commander; Chief Master Sgt. Brad Buening, 360th Recruiting Group superintendent; Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Farrill, 319th RCS production superintendent; and his first sergeant, Master Sgt. Kevin Walker.

"They had presented me with all of the awards, or so I thought," Trueman said. "Just as I was headed back to my seat, the commander called me back and handed me one of those Air Force blue folders. Inside was the STEP certificate. I was speechless, and that doesn't happen often."

Originally from Redondo Beach, Calif., Trueman joined the Air Force in September 2003. He spent his first six years as a firefighter, and was stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He also deployed twice.

When the opportunity came up to become a recruiter, he jumped at it. He said that his recruiter, then Tech. Sgt. Stephen Beauregard, made a big impression on him when he came to talk to his Marine Corps Junior ROTC unit.

"I knew how much the Air Force had helped me, and how it could change people's lives. Recruiting is an awesome way to be a part of your community," said Trueman, who recruits in Fairfield, Conn.

"I stayed in touch with Sergeant Beauregard my first two years in the Air Force," Trueman said. "I did the Recruiter Assistance Program with him when I graduated from the fire protection course and I let him know how grateful I was for that opportunity."

Trueman has earned two associate degrees from the Community College of the Air Force in fire protection and human resources. He is also close to completing his bachelor's degree in fire science from American Military University, and earned a spot on the National Society of Collegiate Scholars list with a GPA of 3.76.

"If you work hard and stick to your guns, you'll be rewarded," Trueman said. "This promotion has made me realize how important it is to take care of your Airmen."

"Sergeant Trueman is a genuine superstar whose selfless service has had a profound impact on the command's mission to recruit the brightest men and women into the United States Air Force," Stroup said.

"It's been a real pleasure watching him engage and mentor our future generation of Airmen and he's definitely deserving of this STEP promotion," Stroup added. "I'm convinced the Air Force will continue to reap huge dividends from Jeff's inspiring leadership."

In May, Trueman will head off to Goodfellow AFB, Texas, to be an instructor at the Department of Defense Fire Academy. Even though he's leaving recruiting, he said the lessons he learned the last four years will stick with him throughout his career.

"I think that the most important thing that I learned from my time in recruiting is to give 100 percent effort as Colonel Stroup always says," Trueman said. "It can be a very new and stressful experience for someone to make a life-changing decision like joining the Air Force. Being a professional guidance counselor and taking the time to know our applicants is critical to helping our future Airmen develop into our future leaders. I hope to carry this mentality forward with my students in the fire protection course, and for the rest of my career."

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