Centurion credits God for success

29 Nov 2003 | 9th Marine Corps District

Motivated performance produced results for an RS Lansing recruiter as he picked up the coveted title of Centurion and achieved the status of Recruiter of the Year for this recruiting station.

With a 3.71 APR for Fiscal Year 2003, SSgt. Demetrius D. Bell, SNCOIC, RSS St. Joseph, has accomplished the two goals he initially set out to do.

As a reservist from 1995-1998, Bell tried his hand a couple of times as a recruiter's assistant.

"I was a rec assistant out of RS Lansing where I was a lance corporal then corporal. As a corporal I was able to witness people in my station, RSS Kalamazoo, receive Centurion and also Recruiter of the Year. I said that if I ever came out there on recruiting duty that those are two things I'd like to shoot for."

In December of 1998 he became an active duty recruiter for about 26 months and then went back as a reservist for another year. After prayer and thought, his hunger to be a recruiter compelled him to go active duty once again. In July, shortly after going active duty a second time in 2003, Bell saw his first goal met as he became a Centurion within 36 months of active duty recruiting.

Bell enjoys the recruiting scene.

"This is a people business. I like the whole thing about establishing rapport; this is something that comes naturally. I couldn't see myself stationary, just in one spot all day. Being on recruiting duty you get to interact and that's what I like," said Bell.

For Bell things aren't always easy.

"There have been many challenges, (like not) getting applicants to enlist as soon as you can or running right up to mission day in some instances. I do struggle; but that's a part of life. How you handle struggles or pressure shapes you. I welcome it, but at the same time I'd rather it not be there, and that's a part of human nature," explained Bell, who was having a few contracting difficulties in October. "I am thankful for those struggles because it heightens my awareness and causes me to consider what I'm doing."

Bell relies on his faith in Jesus Christ to accomplish whatever mission is handed down to him.

"This job will cause you to pray," said Bell. "It will cause you to pray maybe more than you ever did. As many challenges you are faced with in this job: Rejection, superiors, recruiters and your own family; you have to pray throughout the day.

Family also plays an important part in the recruiter's life and is a source of encouragement and even escape from the daily grind.

"That is an integral part of this job to me," said Bell about his family. "You can create your environment and make it whatever you want. Every time I go home, regardless of my day, the kids, they're jumping, 'daddy, daddy' so I go in there and jump right along with them. I jump them all the way up to bed; there's a certain routine we go through every single day. When I go home that motivates me, it gives me strength for the next day. Everybody's happy.

"I don't let that die out. I never go home and sit there and mope," said Bell. "Because I've got three kids plus a wife. Your home life will be a direct reflection of how you do at work. If it's happy then you'll be able to deal with work a little bit better. It would be more stress if you came home to a bickering wife and arguing kids."

Bell's wife, Karrie, understands that recruiting life can be difficult and has set out to be there for her husband.

"I know recruiting is tough, I just try to be in the best and most supportive mood as possible: To treat him like a king," said Karrie, 24.

When interacting with his pool, Bell's philosophy is to honestly portray the image of a Marine.

"What builds a strong pool is those basic leadership principals and leadership traits. Setting the example, making sure each task is understood, supervise, accomplish and all that kind of good stuff. You have to know them as well as you have to know yourself and seek self-improvement," said Bell.

Bell recommends treating the pool no different than you would your Marines, and to set it up just like the Marine Corps is," he said.

The image of a Marine is achieved by holding oneself to a higher level in every area of life than that of the regular civilian. Bell does just that.

He said that recruiters should set the standard if one's not already set and to always shoot for that standard, and not settle for less than what is expected of them. If you don't have something like attention to detail, then to me it will reflect.

"If my office is not clean, then to me that's a direct reflection of how I am as a person. And that's what I mean by image, everything in its place at the right time. If I'm not making mission then that says something about me and about my image," said Bell.

9th Marine Corps District