MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --
As a Swamp Fox serving in the South Carolina Air National Guard, Airmen know they are part of one of the premier National Guard Bases in the country.
Since 2002, Master Sgt. Kenny Monroe, the 169th Fighter Wing Retention Office manager, has been proud to be a part of the Swamp Fox heritage.
“It’s amazing how many people recognize us,” said Monroe. “When I am riding on the highway, and I see our Swamp Fox logo on the back of a car…I know we are a big deal.”
As prior active duty Air Force and a South Carolina native, Monroe joined the SCANG after a 12-year break in service.
“I didn’t even know at the time the SCANG existed. I drove by a billboard that had an F-16 on it and I called the recruiting phone number in the yellow pages. Three months later, I was in,” said Monroe.
Monroe commented that the tragedy of September 11th was one factor that drove him to want to get back into the service. He came in as the oldest Airman 1st Class in his unit as an aircraft armament systems specialist.
“I was on the first inaugural alert crew. We had a three-man load crew and set up the alert plan mission here,” said Monroe.
He served along with other elite Swamp Foxes in his squadron and their team achieved the “Weapons Load Crew of the Year” award in 2006. The Airmen were judged on load bar performance and munitions loading and completed the tasks with no failed loads.
Monroe performed this job for a decade as a traditional guardsman while working as a Security Forces augmentee at nearby Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina.
Through his career, Monroe assisted the recruiting office with their needs and in 2012, he changed his Air Force Specialty Code classification to recruiting.
Monroe’s favorite part about recruiting is being able to help Airmen by presenting opportunities around the base to help them succeed with their career goals. He is a believer that it doesn’t matter the background or situation of a person, there can be success in the SCANG if one chooses to put their mind and effort into it.
“I have a passion for this place and I want to see it thrive,” said Monroe. “It’s not about meeting a quota, it’s about positively affecting someone’s life. That’s why I love my job.”
During his time as a recruiter, Monroe achieved Recruiter of the Quarter, Recruiter of the Year (three times), and received the 4th Quarter Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Guard Bureau.
“In many cases, Airmen join the SCANG to enhance their current civilian careers with hands-on and classroom training that they wouldn’t have or afford if they were not a part of the guard,” said Monroe.
Joining the South Carolina Air National Guard can reap huge benefits for Airmen. Some of the perks of joining the SCANG include financial assistance for education, medical benefits and the opportunity to start a new career.
Earlier this year, Monroe shifted gears again as the 169th Fighter Wing Retention Office manager and his new focus is to support our Swamp Foxes as they continue their USAF careers.
“For someone to come to you and not know where they want to be in their career, I spend one hour with them to help them into a career that they really love. Now many of those Airmen are up for officer positions,” said Monroe.
“Master Sgt. Monroe understands the pulse of the organization and knows exactly what the Airmen of McEntire [JNGB] need when it comes to retention and their careers,” said Senior Master Sgt. Steven David, the recruiting and retention superintendent for the 169th Fighter Wing.
When Monroe is not helping others build their dreams, he likes to relax with golf, horseback riding and flying airplanes.
In 2015, Monroe became a member of the Civil Air Patrol as the safety program manager for the CAP Middle East Region Spartanburg Squadron. During his service with the CAP, he flew over the massive floods in South Carolina in 2015 in a Cessna 182 taking aerial photos of flooding and damage throughout the midlands. He has also participated in numerous training exercises working with the SCANG’s fighter pilots.
Monroe has five years left with the SCANG before he plans to retire. His future goals are to enjoy life and begin his own flight service to assist those who may need aerial photography or any other flight-driven needs.
To contact Master Sgt. Monroe, visit https://169fw.usaf.afpims.mil/recruiting/.
To schedule a retention office appointment, visit https://169thfwretention.setmore.com/.