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Top recruiter gets ride of a lifetime

Second Lt. Joshua Higgins, 41st Flying Training Squadron, briefs Tech. Sgt. Anthony Fleming, 332nd Recruiting Squadron, before their T-6 flight Tuesday. Sergeant Fleming was named the top recruiter for 2006 and 2007 in eastern Tennessee. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Danielle Hill)

Second Lt. Joshua Higgins, 41st Flying Training Squadron, briefs Tech. Sgt. Anthony Fleming, 332nd Recruiting Squadron, before their T-6 flight Tuesday. Sergeant Fleming was named the top recruiter for 2006 and 2007 in eastern Tennessee. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Danielle Hill)

Airman 1st Class Natasha Sanders, 41st Flying Training Squadron, helps Tech. Sgt. Anthony Fleming, 332nd Recruiting Squadron, check the pressure in his mask before his T-6 flight Tuesday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Danielle Hill)

Airman 1st Class Natasha Sanders, 41st Flying Training Squadron, helps Tech. Sgt. Anthony Fleming, 332nd Recruiting Squadron, check the pressure in his mask before his T-6 flight Tuesday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Danielle Hill)

Chief Master Sgt. James Dowell, 14th Mission Support Group Superintendent, presents Tech. Sgt. Anthony Fleming, 332nd Recruiting Squadron, with a plaque to remember his T-6 Texan II orientation flight at Columbus AFB Tuesday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Danielle Hill)

Chief Master Sgt. James Dowell, 14th Mission Support Group Superintendent, presents Tech. Sgt. Anthony Fleming, 332nd Recruiting Squadron, with a plaque to remember his T-6 Texan II orientation flight at Columbus AFB Tuesday. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Danielle Hill)

COLUMBUS AFB, Miss. -- Being the no. 1 recruiter in eastern Tennessee is a tough title to carry, but to hold that title for two years straight is a feat to say the least. 

Technical Sgt. Anthony Fleming, 332nd Recruiting Squadron, holds the title for the Top Enlisted Accessions Recruiter. 

With his recruitment being more than 100 percent for the 2006 and 2007, Sergeant Fleming has shown that he has what is needed to be the best of the best. 

As part of his recognition, Sergeant Fleming was a treated to an orientation flight Tuesday in a T-6 Texan II. 

"Recruiting definitely gives you a different since of self-fulfillment from seeing that young Airman grow," said Sergeant Fleming, who was a maintenance trainer before becoming a recruiter. 

In the past two years, Sergeant Fleming has enlisted 70 new Airmen into the Air Force. And with the outstanding number he proudly wears the "Gold Badge" of recruiting. The modest sergeant says it means "more than just numbers." "For someone to recognize me for two years in a row, I think that is a pretty high honor," he said. 

Sergeant Fleming attributes one of the Air Force's core values to his success as a recruiter. "Being honest with the recruits is what is most important. Telling them the good, and telling them the bad as well," he said. "You just have to be honest with the individuals." 

Sergeant Fleming is one of 35 recruiters that currently work under Chief Master Sgt. Mark Anderson, 332nd RCS Superintendent, who traveled to Columbus AFB to be with Fleming on his adventure at CAFB. 

When asked about Sergeant Fleming, the chief responded "He is outstanding. He is a great NCO and Airman. If I had about a 100 more recruiters like him I would be set." 

The Air Force Recruiting Service is a major component of the Air Education and Training Command. The mission of the AFRS is to recruit quality men and women for America's Air Force. The AFRS is responsible for accessing 100 percent of the enlisted force, 90 percent of the service's medical officers, 25 percent of the line officers and 100 percent of the Air Force chaplains. CAFB is responsible for administrative support for the 332nd RCS. 

A recruiting job may seem like a breeze, but with long hours, schools to visit and many hands to shake, it is far from lax. 

"The average recruiter works a 12 to 15 hour day in the first year. After their first year a 12 hour day is routine," said Chief Anderson. "It is a great job and I would recommend it to any young NCO that likes to speak in a public forum." 

Sergeant Fleming would encourage any Airman interested in becoming a recruiter to do it for the right reasons. "Don't go into recruiting because you think 'I won't have to deploy or I will be able to spend more time with the family.' You fill find yourself spending more hours than you did when you back at the force. So make sure you are going into it for the right reason, which is to give other people the same opportunities that you inherited from serving," he said. 

As a special duty assignment, every Air Force recruiter is a volunteer or is nominated and selected from among the best in their career field. Recruiters are trained at the Air Force Recruiting School at Lackland AFB, Texas. 

For more information on becoming a recruiter, call the Air Force Opportunity Center at (800) 423-USAF or visit www.airforce.com.