Army recruiter sets out to change public perception

| March 20, 2015 | 0 Comments


Sgt. 1st Class Jason Austin
Army News Service

There is a point in a Soldier’s career when you decide that a special duty assignment will do good things for your career.

One is faced with the RRR options: ROTC, Reserve unit or recruiting.

If you consider yourself to be in the top 10 percent of noncommissioned officers in your military occupational specialty, recruiting should be your No. 1 choice.

I joined the Army as an infantryman at the height of hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, September 2005, and became a sergeant 31 months later. I have held the positions of team leader, squad leader and weapon squad leader.

In 2013, I was selected to come to U.S. Army Recruiting Command, and through numerous boards was selected as Recruiter of the Year for 2014.

If you had asked me when I started recruiting duty, if I would permanently reclassify to MOS 79R, recruiter, the answer would have been an enthusiastic no. Many Army-selected recruiters feel the same after a few weeks of teenagers telling you “No” over and over again. But the longer you work out here, respect and appreciation grow for the importance of the work recruiters do every day.

It’s easier for some to believe the myths, to remember the silly movies like “Stripes” and chuckle away the possibility of coming out to recruiting duty. My opinion changed greatly about recruiting, as I have met outstanding leaders in my time here.

My goal is to further change that perception through the example I set, and it should be yours as well, if you decide to take on the challenge.

It is recommended that only the top NCOs in any MOS come to recruiting duty. Only the top five percent of MOSs are considered for Army selection as recruiter. This is because we need the absolute best of the Army.

Consider that, in most places, recruiters are the only face of the Army to thousands of Americans. What image would you want portrayed of the Army? Are you up to that standard of service?

A recruiting assignment isn’t “taking a break.” Recruiting has its own set of challenges, and the mission of recruiting the Army’s future will never stop.

You must be a self-motivated NCO to be successful out here. You will most likely be assigned in an office far away from a military installation, so maturity is of the utmost importance. Recruiters must possess the personal discipline to act as if the world is watching … because it is!

(Note: Austin works at Kansas City Army Recruiting Battalion.)

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