JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2018) – The Florida Air National Guard Recruiting and Retention team won two awards for superior performance in 2017.
The Patriot Team Award recognizes the top wing in the region for superior wing recruiting and retention programs. The Golden Eagle State Award recognizes the top state in the region for superior wing recruiting and retention. The last time Florida took home both awards was in 2012.
“This is big for us,” said Master Sgt. LaTisha Moulds, Florida Recruiting and Retention superintendent. “We’ve always been producing. We’re just reaping the rewards of it now.”
To claim these awards, Moulds’ team beat out 10 other states and two territories. From here the team will move on to compete at the national level against the winners from every other region.
“We have that will to win, and that drive to be the best,” Moulds said.
Brig. Gen. Brian Simpler, Assistant-Adjutant General – Air, said part of the success of this highly motivated team stems from having a clear vision and a goal to attain. That goal is to recruit and retain an end strength of 105 percent.
To put that in perspective, Florida reached 100 percent for the first time in history in 2016. Then, in 2017, they broke that historic record again by reaching 101 percent.
“It’s strategically important that we have our end strength where it needs to be,” Simpler said. “What we learned in Hurricane Irma is that it’s critical for us to have enough Guardsmen to support our citizens.”
During Hurricane Irma, Florida brought in thousands of Soldiers and Airmen in from other states for relief assistance. Florida has the third-largest population in the country behind California and Texas, but only ranks 53rd out of 54 states and territories with regards to the number of Guardsmen per capita.
Simpler said it’s an ongoing mission to get more Soldiers and Airmen in Florida, and the recruiting team members are the ones who make that happen. The FLANG recruiting team winning these awards demonstrates progress being made toward that goal.
Along with Moulds, the FLANG recruiting and retention team includes Senior Master Sgt. Rebekah Miller, Master Sgt. Errol While, Master Sgt. Earl Davis, Master Sgt. Jeremy Hudson, Master Sgt. Daniel Flores, Master Sgt. Amber Pinto, Tech. Sgt. Michael Graham, Tech. Sgt. Tara Alina, Tech. Sgt. Brian Fletcher and Tech. Sgt. Tim Lyons.
Moulds said that while it’s nice to be recognized for a job well done, the team did not do this alone. She said their success is built upon the multiple generations of Airmen who love the organization enough to want their family members to join. She said, in that way, everybody in the Air National Guard is a recruiter.
“We have fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, and husbands and wives,” Moulds said. “We’re doing a good job as a wing. We’re doing a good job as a state. It’s a joint effort.”
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