First African American Recruiter

Master Sergeant (MSgt) Kenneth Renard Esaw:

MSgt Esaw was born in Dumas, Arkansas. When he was five years of age, his family moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Later, his family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where in 1984 he graduated from Highland High School and began his military career by joining the New Mexico Army National Guard.

After two years in the New Mexico Army National Guard, he decided that he wanted to join the United States Air Force. His career in the Air Force started in food Services, however MSgt Esaw wanted more. As a result of his desire to expand and broaden his career goals, he later cross trained and entered the field of Accounting and Finance.

When his six years of active duty ended, he decided it was time to get closer to home and he moved to Fort Smith, and joined the 188th Fighter Group, Arkansas Air National Guard in 1992. MSgt Esaw obtained full-time employment with the 188th Fighter Group as a Military Pay Technician and when a Recruiter position became available, he applied and was accepted for the position in 1996, therefore, he became the first African American Recruiter in the Air National Guard.

MSgt Esaw was an active member in his community where he volunteered to work for the Mallalieu Community Center. He served as a volunteer instructor for the Rights to Passage Program that was designed to teach young African American males about their heritage, personal responsibility, self-respect and respect for the rights and property of others. MSgt Esaw’s military career spanned over 29 years.