RS Indianapolis awards newest Centurion

30 Apr 2004 | 9th Marine Corps District

Marines and their family members got together February 28 for an RS Family Day, in conjunction with the monthly All Hands meeting.  The occasion - one of the RS' most respected recruiters obtained one of the most difficult awards to receive in recruiting - the Centurion award, given for recruiting 100 individuals into the Marine Corps.

GySgt. Lonnelle Jones, Staff Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Recruiting Substation Lafayette, was  compared to Roman Centurions of the past.

According to Capt. Oliver Dreger, executive officer, RS Indianapolis, the same qualities that make him so well-regarded among his peers have been the key factors in his success as a recruiter.

"He is extremely professional," said Dreger.  "He has a very positive personality, and he's just an outstanding Marine in general."

Jones agrees that much of his success comes from his positive demeanor because it keeps him from making excuses and helps him stay focused on making mission. 

Jones noted, however, that without the people that have helped him along the way, he would never have made it as far as he did.

"The two gunnies I met when I first arrived here, GySgt. Alexander (ret.) and GySgt. Paul Proctor, SNCOIC, RSS Terre Haute, were huge motivators for me," said Jones. He learned from Alexander about the administrative side of the job and implemented Proctor's work ethic.

"Proctor is just so motivated.  He and Alexander were like catalysts for me.  Proctor's work ethic was absolutely contagious and it was almost like we would just feed off each other's motivation."

Jones has been successful as a recruiter, but the biggest challenge he has had to overcome is complacency, noting that at times it is difficult for him to push himself to do more than what the mission requires.

"That was one of the ways Proctor kept me motivated," said Jones.  "It didn't matter if I had already written three that month, or not.  If GySgt. Proctor needed another one to go down range, he'd keep me focused and I would make it happen."

Another thing that Jones said was important to being a successful recruiter is staying clear of excuses. 

In Jones' time as a recruiter, he's heard everything from, "There's just no one out there today," to "I can't get into that school."  He believes that if you just convince yourself, you can make it happen. "You have to force yourself to believe you can do the difficult things and always look for ways that you can do more," said Jones.

Jones mentioned that as much as these Marines helped him become successful, there was one person that he could not have done any of it without.

"My wife has been supportive in a way that leaves me in awe of her.  She has been absolutely wonderful through all of this.  I know that the more work I do for the Marine Corps, the more she has to do for us," Jones said.  "She's an amazing woman, and I couldn't have done it without her support."

9th Marine Corps District