Recruiting duty hones social skills

1 Mar 2006 | 9th Marine Corps District

Many consider recruiting duty the most challenging assignment in the Marine Corps. However, with this difficult duty come many rewarding experiences and new skills that benefit Marines for the rest of their lives.

According to Gunnery Sgt. William Yables, military justice chief, Joint Legal Center, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, while serving as a recruiter at Recruiting Station Indianapolis he improved his time management skills and selling skills. He also learned to be more outgoing and gained a better appreciation for the Marine Corps. During his experiences he also learned about himself.

“I learned I truly do have confidence in myself, and I have put it to the test,” Yables said.

Yables said his experiences during his career as a Marine helped him interact with civilians, but he now feels he can talk with anyone, anytime, anywhere.

“I sold carpets and vacuum cleaners prior to joining the Marine Corps,” Yables said, “but now that I have been a Marine recruiter and fully understand what it takes to sell something that you can not touch–being a Marine–I believe I can sell anything.”

Overall, Yables said recruiting duty has helped him see the Marine Corps in a different way. Marines learn about the community and the importance of allowing them to see Marines and ask questions.

He also said that serving as a recruiter will improve Marines.

“Marines learn a lot about themselves and what it takes to make it as a recruiter and in a future promotion,” Yables said.

Staff Sgt. Shanese L. Lara, orders chief, Installation Personnel Administration Center, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center 29 Palms, echoed many of the comments Yables made about recruiting duty.

Lara said she now has better communication skills, which help her when working with and counseling her junior Marines. She also felt her time management and teamwork were skills that she honed while on recruiting duty at RS Indianapolis.

“I found out the importance of teamwork like never before,” Lara said. “We could not accomplish our mission with only one person on board.”

She said these skills allow her to interact with people more effectively and accomplish any mission given to her.

“Having a mission letter every month kept me focused and always pushing myself to accomplish what I knew had to be done–more,” Lara said of the drive that improved her skills.

Lara believes the most positive outcome of recruiting duty was gaining a larger family. She still keeps in contact with Marines she recruited and their families.

“It’s awesome to see someone I recruited is now a sergeant, a green belt instructor, and a few credits shy of his bachelor’s degree,” she said. “It’s a great feeling to see the people you enlisted have successful careers.”

According to Gunnery Sgt. Paul E. Proctor, operations chief, RS Indianapolis, the everyday challenge and pressure of recruiting duty can make Marines better. This is the only place, he said, where a sergeant has control of their day and how to execute their mission.

“In the fleet there’s a network of Marines on a fire team or squad that protect each other,” Proctor said. “Here, your deficiencies and strengths are magnified.”

Proctor said all Marines would gain something while on recruiting duty. While working as a recruiter, assistant recruiter instructor and operations chief at RS Indianapolis, he improved his listening skills, learned regulations in depth, and how to use all assets at his disposal. However, he felt that the communication skills he gained were the most significant.

“Communication skills are the most important because no matter where you work or how much education you have, if you can’t effectively communicate, then it makes all of your knowledge wasted. It doesn’t mean anything,” Proctor said.

At the end of their tour, Marines return to the Fleet Marine Force with more tools and assets to help benefit the Marine Corps. Yables said he uses his professional selling skills to get work-related tasks done quickly from other commands. Marines also return with the knowledge that they have successfully completed a difficult duty.

“I now feel that I have done something that everyone has respect for, and it makes me feel good to have been a recruiter,” Yables said.

These Marines, said they, feel the duty is a wonderful experience and everything gained was well worth the tour.

“Recruiting duty is the most rewarding duty I believe there is in the Marine Corps,” Lara said.

9th Marine Corps District