Article Display

Shaw AFB, 337th RS showcase active duty life to recruits

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariana Tafur
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Delayed Entry Program (DEP) recruits from the local area participated in a base tour at Shaw Air Force Base, Aug. 10, 2023.

The 20th Fighter Wing, in partnership with the 337th Recruiting Squadron, hosted the tour and immersion with recruits to help further community relations and to showcase the culture they will potentially be joining if they choose to enlist. DEP is a program designed to prepare and give perspective to those who are interested in joining the Air Force.

DEP recruits were exposed to numerous different aspects of operational Air Force life, from hands-on experience on the flightline, to what life is like living on base as a junior Airman in the dormitories. These tours are crucial for giving recruits the “inside scoop” on what could be their future, inspiring potential Airmen to pursue a career in the Air Force.

On this tour, recruits had the ability to gain further insight into weapons standardization, F-16 engine repair, and received inside knowledge from operational Airmen during a “question and answer” panel.

“I think Shaw is great,” said Katelyn Robertson, U.S. Air Force recruit. “They showed us some very interesting jobs that I’m sure would make great careers.”

Robertson is signed up to be a cryptologic language analyst and is waiting to be sent to Air Force Basic Military Training. She claims to feel more assured of what is to come for her future as a linguist.

Gage Lee is part of the DEP program and is also waiting to be shipped off to BMT at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland, Texas and was accompanied by his mother and aunt on the tour.

“I am so proud of my nephew,” said Katrina Baker, a U.S. Air Force veteran and aunt to Gage Lee. “Seeing how he is growing and displaying his dedication to service is an attitude of few. As a veteran, I hold his decision to take such a path so near and dear to my heart and it truly brings me to tears. I couldn’t be more humbled by his decision.”

Recent Air Force technical school graduates helped the recruits by participating in the Recruiter Assistance Program (RAP), a program that allows Air Force members to work with recruiters by returning to their hometowns and performing recruiting-related tasks like taking DEP recruits on a tour of Shaw AFB.

Airmen 1st Class Colton Munniks and Huffman Deleysia, RAP participants, were excited and interested to learn what the life of an Airman is like once assigned to a base. The two graduated medical technical school and are serving in the RAP before heading to their first duty station.

For many of the recruits, the tour provided reassurance and motivation for their upcoming careers. Shaw AFB works closely with the greater Sumter area to foster a sense of community with those who work and live in the area and conducts multiple recruiting-focused and educational tours for community organizations, local Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and Air Force ROTC detachments per month.

“As Airmen, we're committed to ensuring we have the most capable and lethal air power in the world,” said Maj. Gen. Edward Thomas, Air Force Recruiting Service commander. “And we want America’s best- the best from all of America- to come join us.”