An Air Force Ambassador: MSgt Leon White

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Day in and day out people enter a recruiting office excited about joining the United States Air Force or curious about what the Air Force has to offer them. If they were to stop by the recruiting office in St. Petersburg, Florida, Master Sgt. Leon White would be there to greet them.

White became a recruiter in January 2014, so he is fairly new to the world of recruiting. Prior to this, he worked in maintenance as an aircraft armory assistant apprentice for more than 10 years. Transitioning from maintenance to recruiting was a big change for him.

"Recruiting isn't what I expected it to be. It's busy and challenging," expressed White. "With this job you have to learn how to be flexible and ready to do things when you least expect them. Unlike maintenance, recruiting doesn't have technical orders that give you the step-by-step process."

According to White, recruiting is rewarding, but it also has its challenges. Having the ability to help a recruit get the job they want is the biggest reward for recruiters. On the other hand, there is the downside of not being able to help everyone.

"I would love to have everyone be a part of the Air Force, because they have volunteered by just walking in the door," said White. "However, we're just not able to do that and it's very unfortunate and hard to do at times."

As a recruiter, it's important to ensure that the right people are placed into the right Air Force Specialty Code in order for the mission of the Air Force to be accomplished. In addition, recruiters have the responsibility of helping to shape the Air Force for the future.

"For us it's about meeting the needs of the Air Force. Sometimes that can be difficult because applicants come in knowing what they want, but we have to balance their needs with the needs of the Air Force," voiced White.

In order to ensure that recruits are ready, White has established good working relationships with the local community and members of MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He is able to do physical training at the local gyms and bring the recruits on tours of the base so they can get a glimpse of what military life is like.

"MacDill has been a huge help in preparing my recruits," conveyed White. "The base has a lot of tools that we use to help in recruiting, to include touring the base and public affairs allowing us to hold voice auditions for recruits interested in entering the broadcasting field."

Overall, White likes to make certain that he has a good relationship with the recruits as he prepares them for basic military training, and ensures they stay motivated and educated on what is in store for them in their future in the Air Force.

"Although it can be hectic and busy, it feels good to know that I am a making an impact. Since I first joined the Air Force I always wanted to leave my mark," articulated White.
"Now, I am an ambassador; I am the first thing that people are going to see when they want that picture of the Air Force and I feel it is important for us to make sure we show them the best part of our Air Force."