MoANG Hits 100 percent manning

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For more information contact: Capt. Tamara Spicer, (573) 638-9846, fax: 9848
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Capt. Brian Bowman, (573) 638-9846

Missouri Air National Guard hits 100 percent manning

By Capt. Brian Bowman
Missouri Air National Guard Headquarters

For the first time in five years, the Missouri Air National Guard is at 100 percent manning statewide.

Chief Master Sgt. Rich McConnell, recruiting and retention superintendent for the Missouri Air Guard, credited an excellent year by his recruiters and continued strength of unit referrals as keys to reaching 100 percent manning. He also cited retention, as the Missouri Air Guard was ninth in the nation with more than 92 percent retained during the first 11 months of Fiscal Year 2007.

"All of our recruiters have done an incredible job," McConnell said, adding this fiscal year's accessions are the most in the five years he's been in his current assignment. "And unit referrals are always our bread and butter."

Missouri is currently one of only 15 states with 100 percent manning in the Air Guard.

Although referrals have always been important, since April 2006 some Missouri Air Guard members have been paid for finding new recruits through the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (GRAP). The program potentially pays $2,000 for each recruit -- $1,000 at enlistment and another $1,000 when the enlistee ships to basic training. The program also pays for bringing prior service personnel into the Guard.

GRAP referrals have been responsible for 74 Missouri Air Guard enlistments since the program began. And now, retirees can also participate in the program.

McConnell explained that, because of overages in some positions, some jobs remain unfilled. In addition, the latest round of base realignment and closure decisions will impact the Missouri Air Guard's evolving force structure.

As a result, McConnell said recruiting continues to actively fill openings. Anyone interested in Missouri Air Guard opportunities can call (800) TO-GO-GUARD for more information.