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Concert tickets tip of iceberg in recruiting-referral program rewards

Master Sgt. Michael Coscarella, Patrick Air Force Base in-service Recruiter shakes hands with American Idol season '11 second runner up Joshua Ledat. For referring a friend with the Air Force Reserve Command's Refer A Friend recruiting program, Reservists and personnel from the 920th Rescue Wing, PAFB received tickets and a backstage meet and greet with the 2012 American Idols. (courtesy photo)

Master Sgt. Michael Coscarella, Patrick Air Force Base in-service Recruiter shakes hands with American Idol season '11 second runner up Joshua Ledat. For referring a friend with the Air Force Reserve Command's Refer A Friend recruiting program, Reservists and personnel from the 920th Rescue Wing, PAFB received tickets and a backstage meet and greet with the 2012 American Idols. (courtesy photo)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Reservist know what it takes to be Citizen Airmen. When Reservists recognize this potential in others and refer them to sign up for the Air Force Reserve, they could find themselves face-to-face with an idol--or 10.

Air Force Reservists from the 920th Rescue Wing and other Reserve wings around the nation were recently awarded two complimentary tickets to attend the American Idol Live Tour 2012 for referring a friend join the Air Force Reserve. Some Rescue Reservists here also met the 10 American Idols backstage before the concert August 2 at the Amway Center, Orlando, Fla.

Air Force Reserve Command's Get 1 Now program gives Air Force Reservists a hand in recruiting by giving them incentives for bringing new recruits into the command. These incentives vary, but may include anything from the aforementioned concert tickets to iPads. The program not only gives the power of recruiting to reservists, but in my opinion, it also gives that possible Airman the feel that the Air Force Reserve wants them.

To help tell the story, I received a concert ticket. Before I arrived at the concert venue, I was giddy with anticipation, thinking how cool it would be to meet amazingly talented reality stars who less than a year ago were living ordinary lives? The five males and five females that made up the tour all came from different walks of life, but fellow Americans helped make them celebrities because of their singing talent.

During the concert, I was three rows from the front-close enough to the idols to see the stitching in their clothing. The volume from the thousands of screaming fans vibrated through my bones. I was blown away by the covers the idols performed of some of the most popular songs on the charts now. My favorite was Phillip Phillips' cover of "Someone I Used to Know" by Gotye.

Even though I left the concert with less than stellar hearing, what I did leave with was a profound amount of pride. My command rewards its Reservists with something that millions of people would love to attend for referring a friend to join the Air Force Reserve. Being in the Reserve has allowed me opportunities that I never thought possible, and I like the idea of having a say in who might be working alongside me in the future.

Complimentary tickets to a star-packed concert are just the tip of the iceberg of prizes Reservists can earn when they enter potential applicants--friends, family members or acquaintances who are eligible and interested in joining the Reserve--into AFRC's referral database. The rewards are on a tier system; the more successful referrals, the better the prizes.

I believe the Get 1 Now program is not only a great way to add to our already stellar force, but also shows that AFRC trusts its Airmen to provide future leaders, heroes and assets to the various missions. After my awesome experience attending my first concert, I think I may be taking a closer look at referring people who can contribute to our command's excellence. And I certainly won't complain if I'm rewarded with another free concert.

For more information about the 920th RQW, log on to the wing's Web site: www.920rqw.afrc.af.mil or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.