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Recruiting More Than The X's And O's
by Airman 1st Class Jamie Titus, Nebraska Air National Guard
January 31, 2018

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American Pride: Poems Honoring America and Her Patriots! by David G. Bancroft

At 6-foot-3, with brown hair and an athletic build, Tech. Sgt. Kyle J. Eddy describes himself as an extreme extrovert who is out-going and loud, yet laid-back. Coworkers of Eddy, a production recruiter and retainer with the Nebraska Air National Guard’s 155th Force Support Squadron, see his big personality too.

“Kyle’s got a very upbeat attitude at all times, and he consistently provides a positive energy to the people around him,” said Tech. Sgt. Daniel J. Dibbern, a production recruiter and retainer with the 155th FSS. “He’s very happy-go-lucky.”

For someone who likes to talk to people, being a recruiter for the military is the perfect job for Eddy. The job also gives him a chance to be a mentor to those he interacts with.

“As a mentor for me, it’s a good image to have,” said Staff. Sgt. Devin T. Davila, an administrative assistant with the 155th FSS. “I think if you’re sulking around, and you hate your job, it kind of reflects on the shop, and could bring down morale. But I see him highly motivated and it excites me and motivates me to eventually, one day, become a recruiter as well, because I see how much he loves it.”

Along with the busy life of a being a recruiter, Eddy finds time to engage with his community by coaching basketball for middle school students.

Eddy was 18 when he joined the military as a member of the 155th Security Forces Squadron. At the same time, he began to coach for the Millard Basketball Association.

April 2, 2017 - Tech Sgt. Kyle J. Eddy, a production recruiter and retainer with the 155th Force Support Squadron, coaches basketball with the Millard Basketball Association in Omaha at the 155th Air Refueling Wing, Lincoln, Nebraska. Recruiting is a full time position and a four year tour. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Jamie C. Titus, Nebraska Air National Guard)
April 2, 2017 - Tech Sgt. Kyle J. Eddy, a production recruiter and retainer with the 155th Force Support Squadron, coaches basketball with the Millard Basketball Association in Omaha at the 155th Air Refueling Wing, Lincoln, Nebraska. Recruiting is a full time position and a four year tour. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Jamie C. Titus, Nebraska Air National Guard)

He said balancing the military and coaching is not too hard. The MBA has been very supportive of his military responsibilities and deployments. For Eddy, missing a half a season for a deployment was almost easier than missing one or two games because of a drill weekend.

After eight years in the 155th SF and multiple deployments, Eddy decided to become a recruiter, a four year tour that he hopes to extend. He was sent to the Production Recruiting School at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas, and he has been a recruiter for a little over year.

Eddy said recruiting is a full time job, with many demands, and there is no such thing as a typical day at the office. Eddy said he is either in the office or on the road. When he is in the office, he said he meets with applicants, answers phone calls, or answers any questions about benefits offered to those in the military. He added that more than fifty percent of his days are spent on the road, whether it’s for a job fair in Scottsbluff, or a mock interview at a high school in Omaha. In September, he spends nights in hotels making his way around rural areas of Nebraska for job fairs. He said, the biggest challenge he sees is that most people know very little about the Air National Guard.

“He goes above and beyond when it comes to recruiting,” said Master Sgt. Jeremy J. Dean, the recruiting and retention manager for the 155th FSS. “As far as working with individuals, the events that he plans and goes to and getting out into the community lets everyone know the Air National Guard exists. He’s the type of person that when he puts his mind to something, he follows through.”

With this busy schedule, Eddy works hard to balance his work and coaching.

Eddy has now coached with the MBA for nine years. He said he loves working with kids and teaching kids to plays sports such as basketball, volleyball and flag football.

“I love sports,” said Eddy. “I absolutely love athletics and I think that especially in today’s age where kids are getting caught up with the wrong things, I really think sports, or different clubs are their saving grace in high school and middle school and is one of the reasons I made it through with a ‘clean nose.’”

The kids he coaches range from sixth-graders to eighth-graders who plan to go to Millard-West High School in Omaha, Neb. Eddy spends four to five days a week in the evenings coaching. Time is spent practicing drills such as dribbling, shooting, and footwork along with playing against other teams in the program.

The kids on his team get to know him pretty well and he said that his team knows to give 100 percent in practice because there is no toleration for lack of effort. Eddy uses the 30 minutes of team time to build a relationship with the kids.

“I want to explain to them that basketball is a cool thing but not a lot of them are going to play at the college-level or past that so it’s really about making them a better person,” said Eddy. “I try to have more leadership and influence on them than I do on trying to teach them the X’s and O’s.”

Eddy said that he starts to build a relationship with the kids’ parents so that he knows how they are doing outside of practice in school or at home. He said that the parents are pretty open to telling him their kids’ struggles, like if they are doing poorly with their grades or experiencing bullying.

To some of the kids on Eddy’s team, he might be the best adult influence they have in their life. He understands that some kids are pretty squared away while others might need help in their personal life. He said that the biggest problem for the kids in their home life is often divorce. Basketball is their place to go and be themselves without worrying about the turmoil at home.

His guidance and impact with kids stretches beyond the basketball court as he is also involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midland program in Omaha.

Shaping futures both on the court and in the military, Eddy strives to be a positive guide to those he coaches and recruits.

“I think that everyone can have a job but I think having a little more purpose with everything, leaving the world better than what you found it, is always good,” said Eddy. “So if I can make a difference in other people’s lives, awesome.”

By Airman 1st Class Jamie Titus, Nebraska Air National Guard
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2018

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