Dynamic program offers Pa. ANG members power to fashion future of Air Guard

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond
  • 111th Attack Wing Public Affairs
 HORSHAM AIR GUARD STATION, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Air National Guard is extending a unique opportunity to its members, one not commonly offered to those in the civilian sector: The power to hand-pick the present and future power in air, space and cyberspace.

Functioning as an add-on to the Who’s Your One program introduced last spring, Operation Alma Mater is a recruiting innovation pioneered and launched by Pa. ANG strength management teams (SMTs) this month.
Air Guardsmen willing to engage their alma mater - or any other schools with which they are familiar – will be given the chance to serve as a force multiplier. Wing SMTs will train and equip these individuals to become specialized in presenting the ANG opportunity to their school of choice.

This serves to both assist in gaining accessions to meet end strength, while also generating a culture of familiarity – a feature distinct to the National Guard.

"It's quite common for people to identify with each other through their alma mater, “ said Pa. National Guard Deputy Adjutant General – Air, Col. Michael Regan. “If we all go back to our alma mater and tell our story, I'm confident that our ranks will swell with more people looking to create a version of their own Air National Guard story.”

Members of the 111th Attack Wing SMT are touting the program as a building block for the next generation of Air Guardsmen. Current members willing to work with a production recruiter and retainer (PRR) to learn the program will be essentially forming the future of the Air National Guard.

“We have outstanding Airmen now; but, the Air Force culture of innovation and forward thinking pushes us to prepare for the future, “ said Master Sgt. Kevin Watson, 111th Attack Wing SMT, recruiting and retention manager. “What we’d like to see is the next generation of Air Guardsmen be of the same quality and caliber as those now serving in the Profession of Arms.”

The mission of Operation Alma Mater is based on the idea of ANG members identifying audiences who would gain from obtaining information about the Pa. Air Guard. Like its predecessor program, Who’s Your One, the goal is to create a mutually-beneficial experience for the parties involved. With 111th Attack Wing alone boasting career fields ranging from construction to cyber defense, the new state-wide program has the capacity to reach a wide variety of appeal.

“We must get the word out about all of the great opportunities that we have to offer,” said Regan. “I'm really looking forward to meeting all of the new recruits that come to us through Operation Alma Mater."

For more information about both programs, Pa. Air Guardsmen should consult their zone recruiter or speak with a member of their strength management team.