JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) --
Prospective Airmen and others with questions about joining the Air Force now have a biweekly, online resource for getting news and information.
Air Force Recruiting Service launched "The Back and Forth," a livestream show, Feb. 7. The show's producer plans to make the initiative an enduring resource for potential Air Force and Space Force recruits and their influencers.
“We wanted to have two-way communication with men and women who are making life-changing decisions in real time, not just us advertising or giving information to them,” said Maj. Rico Lane, AFRS chief of national advertising. “We have to look at this as an opportunity to live out service before self and provide value to potential future Airmen and Guardians,” Lane said.
Lane, a former enlisted security forces Airman, learned how to produce video podcasts in his off-duty time when he wasn’t managing the contracts and people that support other AFRS advertising initiatives. The show is currently produced in a temporary studio on base while AFRS looks for a permanent location.
“Part of the show’s charm is that it looks and feels authentic, like other live stream options for myriad topics that appeal to Gen Z,” Lane said.
Two noncommissioned officers host the two-hour show. Their guests talk about topics of interest to future and current Airmen who can see the show on YouTube, Facebook or LinkedIn. The audience sees its comments posted in a chat and some get personal acknowledgement during the show.
“I love the fact that we can interact with our audience,” said Tech. Sgt. Greg Cerny, one of the show’s hosts and the Broadcast Operations manager for AFRS. “They get to ask questions and we can give answers on the spot.”
Cerny trades banter with his co-host while they keep the show moving through content that includes news, videos and a Q and A session.
“Our recruiters are stretched thin and sometimes busy with other duties and this show provides another opportunity for people interested in the Air Force to talk to a recruiter,” Cerny said. “We always have an Air Force recruiter on the show to take questions from the audience and hot topics are driving content and guest selection for future shows.”
Recent episodes focused on the difference between the active and reserve components, and Detachment 1, a unit which aims to improve diversity for rated career fields. Future episodes will focus on the medical exam process, waivers, commissioning programs and enlisted career fields.
“This show is a game changer for the way we engage potential recruits,” said Master Sgt. Jody Reed, an instructor for the Air Force’s recruiting school at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Besides being a recruiter and the "Back and Forth" host, Reed has a popular livestream called "Jody with a Why."
“It’s good to be part of an endeavor like this as it’s taking off,” Reed said.
Look for The Back and Forth every other Tuesday at 2 p.m. central time on AFRS’s official YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn pages