U.S. Air Force Recruiting Office reopens in Kirksville

Friday afternoon, a ribbon was cut and a new recruiter was welcomed to the area. (KTVO/Ashley Hoak)

For more than 5 years, Kirksville hasn't had a U.S. Air Force Recruiting Office. However, that fact has now changed.

Friday afternoon, a ribbon was cut and a new recruiter was welcomed to the area.

Colonel Bradley Oliver told KTVO during the past 5 years, the Air Force has used a "hub and spoke system."

Recruiting stations were set up in larger areas like Kansas City and St. Louis, but Oliver said that method ultimately led to the sequestration of smaller towns.

He said it was critical to reopen an office in Kirksville.

"We need to get people back out in the local community -- 1) just to build personal relationships and to let them know the people who wear uniforms are just like them and 2) build those long lasting relationships so that moms and dads and relatives of those people who might want to serve understand that we really care about them and their community, what they are going through locally; not just wanting their son or daughter to serve in the Air Force."

Technical Sergeant Paul Simmons will be based out of the office in Kirksville.

He is now responsible for covering more than 5,000 square miles.

Simmons told KTVO he is excited to start meeting with those interested in joining the Air Force.

"We are looking for highly motivated individuals who are willing to serve their country and get an education while they are at it."

At Friday's ribbon cutting, a number of senior leaders were on hand.

They stressed that Kirksville is the perfect area to meet recruits.

This U.S. Air Force Recruiting Office is located at 516 North Baltimore Street in Kirksville.

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