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New commander takes reins at Air Force Recruiting Service

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Holly Patterson
  • Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Brig. Gen. Christopher R. Amrhein took command of Air Force Recruiting Service June 2, 2023, in a ceremony here with Lt. Gen. Brian S. Robinson, commander of Air Education and Training Command, serving as the presiding officer, at Hangar 5.

 “You are getting a phenomenal commander,” Robinson said about Amrhein. “He’s ready to lead, innovate and succeed as a team. It’s no secret that recruiting today is a challenge and it will take all of us working together to tell the Air Force story to America’s youth. General Amrhein is the right leader to guide us through this current challenge.  He will continue to shape our efforts to modernize recruiting and recruit the Airmen and Guardians we need for the fight of tomorrow.”

Previously, Amrhein was the vice commander at 19th Air Force, a numbered Air Force, charged with the management and execution of the entire AETC flying training mission, from initial screening to advanced combat crew training, that makes up more than 45% of the Air Force’s annual flying hour program.

“I am truly humbled to serve as the AFRS commander and along with Chief Master Sgt. Rebecca Arbona, the new AFRS command chief, we are eager to join this team of professionals in a challenging time,” Amrhein said.  “With challenges come opportunities and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with all as we continue the great work being done daily, while exploring those new opportunities.  Together this will further hone our mission to recruit America’s sons and daughters to serve in the world’s greatest Air Force.  Combat readiness begins with recruiting, and our task is to find and recruit the Airmen and Guardians we need to defeat our adversaries.”

Amrhein entered the Air Force in 1996 after earning his commission as a distinguished graduate from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Texas at Austin. He has served in operational and training assignments, logging more than 3,200 hours in a variety of aircraft, as well as commanding at the squadron and wing levels.

Members of AFRS accession more than 26,000 members each year, with emphasis on recruiting people with no prior military service into one of more than 130 enlisted career opportunities, plus recruit prior and non-prior service officer candidates for Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, and recruit chaplains and medical professionals such as physicians, dentists, nurses, healthcare administrators and biomedical science corps members. AFRS also oversees total force recruiting marketing and advertising program for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

AFRS is composed of three active-duty groups and 28 squadrons as well as an Air Force Reserve group with four squadrons. These groups are: the 360th Recruiting Group at New Cumberland, Pennsylvania; the 369th Recruiting Group at JBSA-Lackland, Texas; the 372nd Recruiting Group at Hill AFB, Utah; and the 367th Recruiting Group at Robins AFB, Georgia.

There are about 1,300 recruiters located in 1,040 recruiting offices throughout the United States and also a recruiting presence in England, Germany, Italy, Japan, Puerto Rico and Guam.

Maj. Gen. Edward Thomas, the outgoing AFRS commander, took command in June 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when recruiting was undergoing a transformation in virtual processes.

Robinson credited Thomas for leading AFRS during an exceptional time in military history.  He said, “Your leadership is inspiring and we know that the initiatives created during your tenure will carry us through to recruit the next generation of America’s Airmen.”

Thomas’s retirement ceremony was also held this week. He commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1990 following his graduation from Texas A&M.