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Recruiter demonstrates excellence in accessions

Master Sgt. Yvette Larson exceeded her goal earning a top recognition

U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Madelyn McCullough

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Just as a track star battles exhaustion to be the first to the finish line, a 446th Airlift Wing recruiter strived to conquer all obstacles she faced in her career last year. By going above and beyond expectations, she earned one of the top awards in recruiting for Fiscal Year 2012.

Master Sgt. Yvette Larson, officer accessions recruiter of the Western Recruiting Squadron, was awarded the Top Health Professions/Officer Accessions for exceeding her goal. She recruited 16 officers; more than double the seven she was assigned.

"I put in a lot of effort so it was really amazing for me to be recognized and receive this award," she said.

Larson has been a recruiter since she switched to the career field in 2006, but the McChord assignment was the first time she tackled officer recruiting.

"I came from Kadena Air Base, Japan where I was the in-service recruiter," she said. "I assigned active-duty Airmen to positions throughout the U.S. and abroad. That position set me up to understand what was necessary for the officer recruiting."

In-service recruiting deals with both officers and enlisted Servicemembers coming off active-duty, she said. She learned what being an officer recruiter meant because she often had to search the Reserve for officer positions.

As she learned the new type of recruiting, she discovered new difficulties.

"One new challenge was figuring out who I could assist and who I needed to politely dismiss," she said. "We do not have a lot of positions to fill in this area."

Although most of the people who call her are non-prior service, officer positions usually need to be filled by prior service Air Force officers, she said. Civilians don't always meet qualifications so she rarely has positions she can place them in.

Facing problems like that taught her a lot, but another challenge stood in her way. The area she was assigned to hadn't had an officer recruiter in seven years.

Along with McChord, she recruits for the 304th Rescue Squadron at Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., and for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. All of these places offer limited job openings for officers, adding another challenge to reaching her goal.

Still, she managed to understand and overcome all the hurdles of her new job, allowing her to finish with the highest turnaround of the season.

Photo: Master Sgt. Yvette Larson, 446th Airlift Wing officer accessions recruiter for the Western Recruiting Squadron, is the winner of the Top Health Professions/Officer Accessions Award. She exceeded her recruiting goal by 429 percent.

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