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Oklahoma native helps Airmen serve

  • Published
  • By Kevin Chandler
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
One man is making a huge difference in today's Air Force, but many never see him ... people continue to walk by, never noticing he's there.

As foot traffic flows through the halls and stairways of the Colonel Burleson Consolidated Support Facility, many people travel past a small office with an American flag hung next to the door, never looking at the friendly face behind the desk inside. Although this workplace often appears quiet from the outside Master Sgt. Ron Gregory, in-service recruiter for Altus AFB, acts as a gateway for Airmen impacting their futures from his seat at the desk.

Sergeant Gregory helps educate interested applicants on the opportunities available in the Air Force Reserve, assisting them through the enlistment process. He is also the lead recruiter for the Oklahoma and Kansas regions, training those coming into the demanding career field from recruiting school. This past year he helped six new recruiters become certified and confident in their skill sets.

"It's all about teaching a philosophy," Sergeant Gregory explained, "that dealing with people is all about helping them get what they need. Only after that can you really make sure the reserves fits with what they are looking for. Providing good information lets them make better decisions."

Sergeant Gregory's 12 years experience in a security forces squadron provided him firsthand knowledge of what the Air Force Reserve has to offer. "My decision to go into the reserves was based on the promotion opportunities," he said. "It was also a great chance to travel, that's what I wanted."

In 1998, a former commander approached Sergeant Gregory about becoming a recruiter. While he wanted to stay in security forces, he took the commander's business card and put it in his Jeep. Five years later he found the card and was open to the possibility of recruiting. As Sergeant Gregory said, "it was time to look for a change." So he sent an e-mail to the former commander and prepared for his new career.

Sergeant Gregory's first recruiting assignment in New Orleans, La., came to an abrupt end when Hurricane Katrina flooded the city in 2005. After evacuating, Sergeant Gregory found out he had been reassigned as a recruiter in his home state of Oklahoma. 

Sergeant Gregory suggests Airmen preparing to separate from active duty visit their local Reserve recruiter six months prior to their separation date to make an informed decision and set up a plan for life after the Air Force.