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There is no easy way to Get One Now, but it's worth it

The Get One Now Program provides coins as thanks when service members provide referrals. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Timm Huffman)

The Get One Now Program provides coins as thanks when service members provide referrals. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Timm Huffman)

WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- The coin came in the mail. A shiny, new token for referring friends and relatives to what I regard as the best organization to work for in the world. For this I was being rewarded.

The Get One Now Program, an ever-changing incentive plan to encourage current members to refer quality, interested and qualified people to the Air Force Reserve, offers more than just symbolic tokens, such as the coin I received with an embossed number "1" encircled by the words "Air Force Reserve... Integrity, Service, Excellence."

Flip the coin over: In the middle, the words "Get '1' One" stand out, with "Referral Award" surrounding it along the outside rim of the coin.

Air Force Reserve recruiters have received the word to seek help from fellow Airmen in recommending potential new recruits from their communities. After all, in a military organization that requires the best of the best, it takes one to know one.

While the reasons for serving in the Armed Forces vary from patriotic to practical, there's no doubt receiving a prize, called accession awards, for referring quality individuals is welcomed by most, if not all. Here's a brief list of the current prizes you can receive if you refer a friend, and if that friend succeeds in joining:

· Computer Speakers
· Portable DVD Player
· ABU backpack & sport locker bag
· ABU deployment bag & shave kit
· IPOD Nano
· Satellite Radio
· MiniDV Digital Camcorder
· TIVO
· Oakley ROKR bluetooth enabled sunglasses
· GPS Navigation System
· Digital Camera
· Digital Photo Frame
· 19" Flat-Screen HDTV
· Bose SoundDock Portable Music Station
· Sony Playstation 3
· IPOD Touch
· ABU Jacket
· Laptop Computer

The awesomeness of prizes available is based on the number of referrals successfully processed into service, with a prize as grand as the laptop requiring more than 10 referrals to join. But as the saying goes: Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Equally, there are rules associated with the incentive program, requiring things including that referred members sign up and ship out before any of the awards get shipped to you -- except for the referral coin everyone receives. Also, "a referral must result in an enlistment within 24 months of entry into the Get One Now program to qualify for an accession award," according to the program's official Web site.

The program further specifies that accessions "must be achieved during the AFR fiscal year, 1 October through September, to qualify for the Get One Now awards for that particular year."

While it is easy to receive the referral coin, like the shiny, new token I received, whether or not a referral will pan out into actually joining is another thing entirely. Sometimes military requirements preclude it from happening, and other times the individual referred simply changes their mind, but one thing is certain, you'll never know if you don't try. Remember the old adage: Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

If you're curious about how to get the ball rolling, you're in luck. According to the official Get One Now Program Web site, "All members of the Air Force Reserve are automatically signed up with a Get One Now account and are sent a membership card with their Get One Now login information."

If you haven't received your card in the mail because you moved or the system doesn't have a good address for you, take heart--it's simple to get started and to access your account. A quick call to the toll free number should do the trick--Voilà!

Just remember: It might not be easy--but it's worth it.

To learn more information about the Get One Now Program call 877-786-2372, or visit get1now.us