Seven Texas Airmen win recruiting, retention awards Published March 31, 2008 By Senior Master Sgt. Joe Arroyo and Tech. Sgt. Gregory Ripps CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS -- Texas made an impressive showing at the Air National Guard Region III Recruiting and Retention Workshop held in Corpus Christi, Texas, Feb. 12-14. This year's gathering included the Air National Guard recruiting and retaining family not only from Texas but also from throughout the 11 other southern states of the region. Recruiters, retainers and unit career advisers discussed such topics as marketing and outreach, operations and training in their respective areas, and recruiting focused on health professionals, officers and in-service members. The Senior Enlisted Advisory Council, Chiefs Council, First Sergeants, and Executive Air Council also "broke out" for their own sessions. The awards banquet provided the climax for the three days. Seven members of the Texas Air National Guard won special recognition for their accomplishments in fiscal 2007: - Outstanding Recruiting Office Supervisor of the Year -- Master Sgt. Raul Elizondo supervises the Recruiting Office at the 149th Fighter Wing, Lackland Air Force Base. His professional skills, knowledge and leadership received credit for his recruiting team exceeding state recruiting goals with 142 new members for the wing. He was instrumental in developing for the Officer Accessions Program a continuity binder that streamlined the accession process. This resulted in 29 newly appointed officers assigned to geographically separated units in the 149th Fighter Wing. - Outstanding Production Recruiter of the Year -- Master Sgt. Michelle T. Echavarria served as production recruiter for the 136th Mission Support Flight, Carswell Field, Fort Worth, from Oct. 1, 2006, to Sept. 30, 2007. During this period Sergeant Echavarria helped achieve a 99 percent end-strength for the 136th Airlift Wing. She enlisted 72 individuals for the year, well exceeding her expected accession goal as a production recruiter. She has since been promoted to master sergeant and is now assigned as a production recruiter at the 149th Fighter Wing. - Outstanding Rookie Recruiter of the Year -- Tech. Sgt. Christopher David Jeter, assigned as the rookie production recruiter at the 136th Mission Support Flight, anticipated requirements, planned for their accomplishment and produced first-class results. During fiscal 2007, he not only exceeded his overall recruiting goals but also focused his efforts to ensure more than 90 percent of his accessions were in critical and hard-to-fill career fields. - Outstanding Recruiting and Retention NCO of the Year -- A member of the 272nd Engineering Installation Squadron, 147th Fighter Wing, Master Sgt. Rodney Evans employed innovation to gain 45 accessions for the wing during fiscal 2007. In addition, he contributed to maintaining a positive 85 percent retention rate by ensuring that members were kept informed of all benefits and incentives to make informed career decisions. In addition, Sergeant Evans was also recognized as the Outstanding Recruiting and Retention Noncommissioned Officer of the Year for Region III and will compete in the Air National Guard's Recruiting and Retention national award competition. - Outstanding Retention Office Manager of the Year -- Master Sgt. Gilbert Jimenez, Retention Office manager for the 149th Fighter Wing, contributed significantly to the unit's end-of-year strength rate of 101.4 percent. His attention to detail and expertise in the retention career field have earned him praise, and he is often consulted by other retention managers for advice and guidance. Considered meticulous in his approach to his duties, he maintains the highest standards, both on and off duty. - Outstanding Rookie Retention Office Manager of the Year -- Master Sgt. Elias Corpus is the rookie Retention Office manager for the 147th Fighter Wing. His extensive dedication and attention to detail in retention won him great praise by his fellow retention NCOs. Sergeant Corpus's knowledge of career motivation programs greatly contributed to an increase in the wing's end-of-year retention rates. - Outstanding Unit Career Advisor of the Year -- Master Sgt. Cindy L. Matzen, unit career advisor to the members of the 209th Weather Flight, Camp Mabry, revitalized the flight's Unit Career Advisor program. She developed a bulletin board providing current information on benefits and incentives to help unit members make informed decisions on actions affecting their military career. In addition, Sergeant Matzen was recognized as - Outstanding Unit Career Advisor of the Year for Region III and will also compete in the national award competition.