The 330th Special Warfare Recruiting Squadron began a new recruiter shadowing program Nov. 24, 2020, starting at their recruiting station and continuing at the Fairview Heights Recreations Center.
Within the Air Force, Airmen who are qualified may apply for Developmental Special Duty (DSD) jobs. These opportunities afford members the chance to step out of their day-to-day career field to do such things as become a Military Training Instructor, Military Training Leader or a recruiter. One recruiter, after becoming seasoned in his position, decided to create a program for those who may be looking into or were selected to fill a slot as a special warfare recruiter.
“The intent of the shadowing program is to provide anybody who may be interested in recruiting an opportunity to see what the life of a recruiter is like,” said Tech. Sgt. Dalontie Joppy, 330th Special Warfare Recruiting Squadron special warfare assessing recruiter.
Although the Air Force prides itself on training personnel to reach their maximum potential, regardless of task, there is something that hands-on and observational experience cannot replace said Joppy.
“When I was selected for DSD to be a recruiter, we went straight to the recruiting school, and then we had a little bit of time between recruiting school to try to get some hands on training,” he explained.
There are programs that afford Airmen the opportunity to shadow a recruiter, but they are exclusively for senior airman and below.
“I know there are programs such as the recruiter’s assistance program, and you can do it up until you’re an NCO, but I was looking more for a program that was going to allow me to kind of get behind the scenes and see more so ‘a day in the life of a recruiter’,” Joppy continued. “It was an idea that I just thought would be beneficial if I was looking at it from the other side of the fence. When I started recruiting, I wish this opportunity would have been available to me.”
During the shadowing event, an Airman learning the ropes of what goes into being a special warfare recruiter saw firsthand the workflow of a recruiter with tasks from administration to mentoring.
“You get to watch and hear a lot from the recruiters; you also get to interact more with the instructors and any of the special warfare recruits who are actually here,” said Airman 1st Class Dalton D. Frederico, 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing material management supply. “I got to talk to the recruit a lot and see what he had to say about what they were doing throughout the day throughout their exercises.”
The participants had an idea of what they would be observing, but were surprised with the amount of attention to detail it takes to get a candidate ship out ready.
“I have a better understanding of what [recruiters] have to go through and what they do every day — the struggles that they have of just getting guys to come out and how specific they have to be on what kind of guys that they actually get to come out,” Frederico said. “You have to have someone that’s physically and mentally able to do a job in this career field. There’s only a certain amount of people that can do it and it’s a very thin margin of people that can do that type of job, so I can see how stressful it can be for the recruiters.”
Joppy and other professionals from the 330th SWR were pleased with the outcome of their first shadowing event and look forward to the next opportunity they have to host another one.
“Overall, I was very pleased with how the events of the day unfolded,” Joppy said. “In the future, I hope that more people become educated about opportunities available within Air Force Special Warfare and that Job Shadowing for all DSD career choices is made available before selection. By doing so, Airmen would be able to get a realistic picture of the tasks performed and the skill required for that specific job, thus allowing them to make an informed decision about their career choices.”
To obtain more information about how to get involved, reach to Tech. Sgt. Dalontie Joppy via phone or email at 618-606-3604 or email Dalontie.Joppy@us.af.mil.