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Johnson becomes 33rd Air Force Recruiting Service commander

  • Published
  • By Christa D'Andrea
  • Air Force Recruiting Service
Brig. Gen. James C. Johnson assumed command of the Air Force Recruiting Service in a ceremony here, Sept. 11. On the 13th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Johnson reiterated the importance of the recruiting mission.

"Recruiting and retaining exceptional Airmen is the cornerstone of our Air Force," Johnson said.

He emphasized there are more challenges than ever.

"From threats that face our country's military, to the dwindling resources entrusted to our care," he said. "These challenges aren't going away any time soon, as we pursue recruiting the next generation of great Airmen."

General Robin Rand, commander of Air Education and Training Command, presided over the ceremony.

He stated there was no officer more qualified to take the reins.

"You served as a missile combat crew commander, survived a number of staff tours and most notably you are a proven commander," Rand said to Johnson during his opening comments.

"Now he [Johnson] is entrusted to inspire, engage and recruit the most competitive and diverse men and women for service in America's Air Force," he added.

Rand charged the new AFRS commander with providing a clear vision and to lead from the front with passion.

Johnson accepted that charge and told the members of his command that "this cadre of Airmen is the force that will take our service into the future."

He said recruiters will continue to inspire Airmen who, in turn, will continue the pursuit of such game-changing technologies, like hypersonics, nanotechnology, directed energy, and unmanned and autonomous systems.

"Clearly we must have a commitment to an 'Aim High' culture as we seek to recruit the broadest landscape of Americans to join our great Air Force," Johnson said. "In the AFRS, we must be Great Airmen First. Our relationships must be built on trust and respect, we must give more than we take and deliver what we promise."

Johnson entered the Air Force through the University of Puget Sound Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1988. His previous assignment was as Director for Logistics, U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany. He has also served in various operational positions supporting U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Mobility Command and completed numerous leadership assignments at the squadron, wing, major command, Headquarters Air Force, as well as Joint Command levels at U.S. Transportation Command, Central Command and Special Operations Command.

Johnson is the 33rd commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service, which was established in 1954 as the 3500th U.S. Air Force Recruiting Wing. The name was officially changed to the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service on July 8, 1959. The command has maintained a San Antonio presence since 1965 at what is now Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.