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The Blue Angels Effect: Recruiters Look For Added Interested Thanks to the Blue Angels

When kids see the excitement the Navy Blue Angels bring to air shows,
many take up the dream of one day becoming a pilot. For many military
recruiters, especially the U.S. Navy, they hope the kids take that
excitement and turn it into curiosity.

“It’s
a huge recruitment thing for the navy,” Chief Petty Officer Matthew
Venis said about the team. “A lot of kids aspire to be a Blue Angel
pilot so it gives them the opportunity to see what they do they come up
and talk to us and we talk to them about some of the qualifications that
they need.”
Chief Petty Officer Venis says the recruiters travel to every airshow the Blue Angels go to, and they definitely cause a buzz.
“Obviously
Rockford doesn’t have a navy ship stationed here or anything like that
so our job is to kind of bring navy awareness to the community show
people what the navy has to offer for them as a career and also show
what the navy does in the world as a job.”
But
for other branches of the military, like the U.S. Army, recruiters say
this is more of just a way to meet and greet residents. Sergeant First
Class Derek Melendez says he knows that they’re thought of as heroes to
many kids — but says he doesn’t like to think of himself as such.
“When you see a U.S. Army solider out in the Rockford
community and outlying areas, we’re the face of the army,” Sgt. First
Class Melendez said. “We take that image that we portray very seriously
and we understand how the people look at us and what they expect of us
as u-s army soldiers.”
And
while they show future, potential members of the military what it’s
like to put on the gear, do a push up, or test their pull-up strength,
for them it’s more about getting out there and showing everyone they’re
no different than you or me.
“We
do everything possible to re-enforce those army values that we have and
re-enforce to the community that we’re apart of your community. We are
here with you and we’re together with you.”

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