Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Air Force medical recruiting up while recruiters, applicants serve their communities

Four  military nurses wearing masks Nurses at The Queen’s Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, wear their masks made and donated by Fight for Aloha, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. The delivery was coordinated by TSgt Aaron Shields and one of his nurse applicants. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Nurses Week

FALLS CHURCH, Va.—The COVID-19 global pandemic has thrown obstacles into everyone’s path, but Air Force Health Professions recruiters and their applicants are overcoming these challenges and motivating their colleagues and communities to step up to help others.

"Being an Air Force medic is more than a job, occupation or career, it is a higher calling," said Chief Master Sgt. G. Steve Cum, Chief, Medical Enlisted Force. "With that comes a responsibility to be your best when your patient is at their worst, to understand your role for the greater good of the mission, and to ensure your fellow medical teammates are as prepared as you, because one day, they may be the ones saving you."

The pandemic is increasing unemployment rates, driving many people to seek career paths in health sciences and military medicine.

“They look at us as job security and a way to give back,” stated Tech. Sgt. Ralph Hall Gonzalez, Health Professions recruiter, 318th Recruiting Squadron. “I've received about three times more applications than I did last year at this time.”

Many applicants are rising to the call for helping those in need. One such applicant, a psychiatry resident at a New York City hospital, had discussed the options of joining the Air Force prior to the pandemic.

“As soon as COVID-19 hit, the applicant has been focused on maintaining mental health for his patients,” Hall Gonzalez stated. “The applicant said he found the passion in his job and now wants to do the same thing while wearing a uniform.”

Tech. Sgt. BreAnn Hill, Health Professions recruiter, 348th Recruiting Squadron, has been working with several highly-qualified potential applicants since COVID-19.

“People are so excited to join the Air Force. They are motivated to serve, and protect those who are protecting us,” Hill said. “One of my nursing applicants planned to drive across country to help out in New York City hospitals during the height of the crisis. They really have a drive of service before self and caring for others.”

Hill tells her nurses they are “super heroes without the cape."

Three men in scrubs wearing masks
Health care workers at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, wearing scrubs that were donated two weeks ago by recruiters from Air Force Recruiting Service. The donation of these Air Force Health Professions scrubs was led by Staff Sgt. Brandon McKeever, 342nd Recruiting Squadron, B-Flight. (Courtesy photo)

Tech. Sgt. Aaron Shields, a Health Professions recruiter with the 348th Recruiting Squadron, found one of his applicants already giving back. Personal protective equipment has been at a premium during the pandemic. The applicant worked with Fight for Aloha, a volunteer organization, to fabricate and deliver PPE to Queens Hospital in Honolulu where COVID-19 patients are being treated.

“COVID-19 PPE requirements are higher and must meet certain regulations,” Shields said. “We had to make sure they could actually use what we brought, and we also found some other places where they could use other forms of PPE. That is just the type of person we want to join Air Force Medicine.”

One applicant told Staff Sgt. Brandon McKeever, a Health Professional recruiter with the 342nd Recruiting Squadron, that their medical facility was running out of scrubs. Medical recruiters have Air Force-branded promotional full scrubs sets. McKeever coordinated with Vanderbilt Medical Center, in Nashville, Tennessee, and delivered 600 sets. Other recruiters are making similar donations helping the front line medical providers.

To ensure qualified medical profession candidates continue to join the Air Force, recruiters need to get creative during the pandemic. Many hospitals are not allowing guests, meaning recruiters are using other methods to connect with potential recruits.

“Everything has to be remote so we have to engage through Zoom and FaceTime which is more difficult than if you go out and see candidates face-to-face,” Hall Gonzalez said.

The pandemic makes the very process of joining the Air Force more challenging.

“The challenge is trying to get them through the whole recruiting process,” said Tech. Sgt. Aaron Shields, 348th Recruiting Squadron Health Professions recruiter. “The military treatment facilities where our applicants get medically qualified aren’t screening anyone except mission-critical personnel. We reached out to the Navy in Okinawa, and, fortunately, a Navy clinic on Okinawa allowed some of our applicants to screen there.”

Recruiters and their applicants demonstrate their ability to overcome the barriers presented by the national health emergency.

“Our overall mission has not changed,” said Senior Master Sgt. Aaron Akridge, production superintendent of the 318th Recruiting Squadron. “We are always trying to inspire, engage and recruit the highest qualified medical officers. Recruiters have done a phenomenal job because they're resilient and they're going to find a way to get the mission done.”

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of recruiting qualified medical candidates for the Air Force.

"We need the best of the best, the best doctors, the best nurses, and the best medical professionals our nation has to offer," said Cum. "Are you ready to and able to answer the call?"

You also may be interested in...

More Than 95% of Active Duty Have Received COVID-19 Vaccine

Article
10/15/2021
Female hospital corpsman gives a COVID-19 vaccine injection to a sailor in her left arm

Service members continue to line up for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors

USECAF receives insight into COVID19 vaccinations at Reserve wing

Article Around MHS
10/8/2021
Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visits with 433rd Airlift Wing members at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Oct. 2, 2021.

Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones visited the 433rd Airlift Wing here to meet with Reserve Citizen Airmen leaders on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination efforts, Oct. 2, 2021.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

Mask Mouth Does Not Exist, Dentists Say

Article
10/6/2021
A bunch of children wearing face masks walk on a city street.

Mask mouth doesn’t exist, Internet chatter to the contrary, dentists say.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Compassionate Caring with COVID Vax Commitment

Article Around MHS
10/6/2021
A  female doctor poses for a photo.

When pregnant patients have an appointment with Lt. Cmdr. Megan Northup at Naval Hospital Bremerton, they get more than a qualified and caring OB/GYN physician.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Health Promotion duo optimizes health on Incirlik Air Base

Article Around MHS
9/30/2021
Air Force Capt. Sydney Sloan, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion element chief (right), and Air Force Senior Airman Gloriann Manapsal, 39th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion technician (left), promote making healthy choices at the Sultan’s Inn Dining Facility on Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

The 39th Operation Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion team provides and integrates evidence-based programs to optimize the health and readiness, even during these unprecedented times.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Total Force Fitness | Coronavirus

COVID-19 Booster Shots are Now Available – What You Need to Know

Article
9/30/2021
Containers of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Each vial contains six doses for vaccination against the COVID-19 virus.

Booster shots are now recommended for millions of people – but many others will have to wait for additional approvals.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Myths & facts about the vax - debunking common COVID-19 vaccine myths

Article
9/29/2021
Myths and facts about the vax

The COVID-19 vaccine has been mandated across the Department of Defense and despite its demonstrated effectiveness and safety, a host of myths have left some Airmen and Guardians hesitant to receive it. While social media posts and some news outlets may make it harder to keep up with what is fact or fiction, the science is clear … approved COVID-19 vaccines work.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Retired colonel leads Fort Irwin COVID response mission

Article Around MHS
9/28/2021
Army Col. Richard Hopkins, the COVID-19 response coordinator with Weed Army Community Hospital, collects paperwork from a Soldier who received the COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination event.

Retired Army Col. Richard Hopkins volunteered under the Army’s COVID-19 Retiree Recall Program to return to service as the COVID-19 response coordinator for Weed Army Community Hospital and Fort Irwin, California.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

ARNORTH military support to FEMA begins in Tennessee, continues in five states

Article Around MHS
9/24/2021
Prepared COVID-19 vaccine shots wait to be administered to an Airman. Members of the 134th Air Refueling Wing were eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccines during Unit Training Assembly here May 2nd, 2021.

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approximately 20 military medical personnel deployed to Tennessee to support civilian healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients in local hospitals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DODEA Schools Keeps On With In-Person Classes, and Fall Sports, Too

Article
9/23/2021
Kids playing football

DODEA schools are striving to continue in-person learning in the 2021-22 school year.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Coronavirus

COVID-19 can lead to long-term health concerns

Article Around MHS
9/23/2021
Debra Lamb, a 30-year civil service veteran at Ft. Carson, contracted the COVID-19 virus late in 2020 and experienced a harrowing ordeal before partially recovering months later.

Debra Lamb, a 30-year civil service veteran at Ft. Carson, contracted the COVID-19 virus late in 2020 and experienced a harrowing ordeal before partially recovering months later.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

6th Medical Group Delivers Mandatory Vaccines

Article Around MHS
9/21/2021
An Airman from the 6th Medical Group prepares a COVID-19 vaccine for distribution at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.

Airmen from the 6th Medical Group began redistributing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, on Sept. 9, 2021. This comes after the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum on Aug. 23, 2021, mandating all active duty personnel to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Got Your 6

Video
9/16/2021
Got Your 6 Infographic

‘Got Your 6’ is TRICARE’s COVID vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, on days that end in ‘6.’ It includes the latest information about DOD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability. Got a question about ‘Got Your 6’? Send an email to dha.ncr.comm.mbx.dha-internal-communications@mail.mil

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

After the ventilator COVID survivor advocates for vaccine

Article Around MHS
9/15/2021
Tim Harris is sedated while on a ventilator

Tim Harris, a mobilization and planning specialist, U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, is sedated while on a ventilator at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, June 27, 2020.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Health Care Workers are Coping

Article
9/13/2021
a nurse helping a COVID-19 patient

For health care providers, experiencing the pandemic inside a hospital has brought

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health Podcasts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 37

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.