PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — An Air Force meteorologist is using the service’s We Are All Recruiters program to chase his dream of playing in the National Football League.
Growing up in the northern Louisiana town of Blanchard, just outside of Shreveport, Staff Sgt. Geremy Satcher was a self-described country boy who played outside all day.
“I played baseball, soccer, basketball and football to occupy my time,” he said. “My brother and I were always the best in the neighborhood. Sports just came naturally to us.”
Satcher, a meteorologist and data analyst at the Air Force Technical Applications Center here, moved with his family to Arizona when he was in high school. He continued to participate in football, basketball and track and field until a family emergency put a temporary end to his sports career.
“During my senior year, my mother was diagnosed with cancer,” he said. “Once she got sick, I decided not to worry about sports and focused on school so I could attend Arizona State University.”
On his first day of college at ASU, his mother died.
“I didn’t handle her passing very well,” Satcher said. “I left college after a few semesters and moved back home to Louisiana where I eventually enlisted in the Air Force.”
While starting his Air Force career, Satcher began focusing his attention on bodybuilding and powerlifting.
“My mother’s passing and the anger from it was the catalyst for getting into powerlifting,” he said. “I got into bodybuilding after realizing that at the rate I was going my body would not hold up long. I wanted to be big and lean and teach my body so I could keep it in check.”
Satcher was a natural in both powerlifting and bodybuilding. While stationed at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, he dead lifted 635 pounds, squatted 720 pounds and bench pressed 450 pounds while weighing a mere 170 pounds.
As Satcher continued to excel in bodybuilding, he had the opportunity to work with bodybuilding legend Lee Haney, an eight-time Mr. Olympia.
“Becoming Mr. Haney’s pupil was definitely one of the highlights of my life,” he said. “I would travel a couple times a month to see him and train and we would talk weekly. He became a mentor and changed the way I see bodybuilding. He taught me how to build my body for longevity.”
Despite his success in bodybuilding, Satcher still felt like something was missing in his life.
“I felt like I was missing something larger in my life that would lead me to a bigger stage to speak the Gospel and share my testimony,” he said. Satcher said he prayed about what he should do and had a dream where the word “football” appeared in giant letters highlighted in red, white and blue lights.
Even though he had not played football since his junior year of high school in 2007, Satcher set his sights on playing in the National Football League. He was a 30-year-old elite athlete about to embark on a nontraditional road to the NFL.
His first step was to take part in the Pacific Pro Scrimmage, a program designed to help propel free agents to the NFL and the Canadian Football League.
“There were 14 other players there, most were straight out of NFL training camps,” Satcher said. “It was designed to help us correct techniques and get us in front of NFL and CFL scouts. I was the only non-pro athlete and the only military athlete invited to this event.”
At the scrimmage, Satcher had the opportunity to show his skills to scouts from the San Francisco 49ers, the Los Angeles Rams, the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Cleveland Browns. It also opened the door for him to participate in a larger scouting opportunity – the American National Combines.
In order to attend the training, Satcher utilized the We Are All Recruiters program, which grants active-duty Airmen permissive temporary duty status to participate in an event that helps Air Force recruiting efforts.
Approval for WEAR is limited to those events where Airmen are directly speaking to potential applicants or influencers about Air Force opportunities.
Requests must first be approved by the individual’s commander in accordance with Air Force Instruction 36-3003. Members may receive up to 14 days permissive TDY each year to attend WEAR events. Requests are then routed through the Air Force Recruiting Service public affairs office to the AFRS commander.
“The WEAR program is awesome for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to attend these events under permissive TDY,” Satcher said. “It was nice not having to eat up all of my leave.”
Satcher had an Air Force compression shirt specially made and approved for the event so he could represent the Air Force.
“I felt like a celebrity,” he said. “The Air Force shirt with my name underneath brought up a lot of questions from people passing by and those who were part of the group. Let’s just say my chest was definitely out and I really enjoyed telling my story to those willing to listen on and off the field. I was proud to have a testimony … and a very unique one at that.”
Satcher brought some impressive testing results to the ANC – 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 32 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds and a 43-inch vertical leap.
“Things went very well at ANC,” he said. “Even though I injured my left hip flexor/IT band during the 40-yard dash, I was able to still perform very well in my individual drills.”
While no NFL team has made Satcher an offer yet, he was noted as a person of interest at ANC and asked to send additional film of his workouts. He now weighs 215 pounds and has some eye-popping statistics.
“Being that I am my own agent, my overall goal right now is to continue to update my film and send it out to different teams,” he said. “If I need to try out for Canadian football, then I will do that as well – really just anything I can think of that’s going to get better footage and that one ‘yes’ that I’m looking for.”
Satcher said his co-workers have been supportive of his pro football pursuits.
“AFTAC has been one of my biggest supporters during this entire process,” he said. “I have never had this much support from a work family in all my days. I’m not just talking about co-workers. I’ve had many people reach out to me across the work enterprise in support of me. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Making it to the NFL at 30 may seem like an unreachable goal, but Satcher believes he can do it.
“My goal is to show people that things you may think are impossible all have a door wide enough for you to fit through, no matter how old you are. I want to show people the power of having faith and sticking to what you say you’re going to do,” he said.
“I just want to say to the world that there is no special equation for achieving your dreams. You can’t just chase them, you have to stalk them and hunt them down until they are yours. Remember that behind every setback is an even greater comeback.”
To learn more about WEAR and see if you qualify to use the program, visit www.recruiting.af.mil/WEAR or reach out to email@example.com.