Photo Information

Staff Sgt. Roberto Rivera , staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Recruiting Substation Grand Rapids North, shakes hands with Col. Jeffery Peterson, the commanding officer of 9th Marine Corps District, during RS Lansing's Centurion award ceremony April 18.

Photo by Sgt. Donald Bohanner

Lansing Legionnaires crown another Centurion

16 May 2008 | 9th Marine Corps District

A Recruiting Station Lansing Marine received one of the highest-obtainable awards available in recruiting, the coveted Centurion award for recruiting 100 individuals into the Marine Corps, during a ceremony at the RS April 18.

Staff Sgt. Roberto Rivera, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Recruiting Substation Grand Rapids North ( Mich. ), was compared to Roman Centurions of the past during the ceremony, taking only 36 months to hit the century mark.

“Staff Sgt. Rivera is another great example of the leadership and professionalism of RS Lansing,” said Col. Jeffery M. Peterson, commanding officer of the 9th Marine Corps District, at the ceremony. “Rivera has been added to the long list of great Marines we speak of at the district from Lansing .”

According to Lansing Recruiter Instructor Master Gunnery Sgt. Scot Morefield, Rivera’s achievement is a result of the qualities that have been key to his success as both a recruiter and a Marine.

"He is the hallmark of a Marine who follows the rules of systematic recruiting," said Morefield. “That and his positive attitude have made him successful.”

Rivera thinks that much of his success comes from his positive demeanor and the leadership of the senior enlisted Marines who have worked with him throughout his tour.

“Everyone asks me what my secret is,” said Rivera. “I don’t think you would call it a secret. I listened to the 8412’s who have been here, who have trained me, and followed the guidelines of systematic recruiting. Most importantly, I never gave up on myself.”

Rivera said that ensuring those already in the delayed entry program remain focused is also paramount for perpetual success, which is why he leads his pool in the same way he leads his Marines. He said that recruiters should set the standard and not settle for less than what is expected of them.

"What builds a strong pool is those basic leadership principals and leadership traits -- setting the example, making sure each task is understood, supervising, and all that kind of good stuff,” he said. “You have to know them as well as you know yourself."

Someone who may know Rivera even better than he knows himself is his wife, to whom he also credits much.

"My wife has been absolutely magnificent through all of this.  I know that the more work I do for the Marine Corps the less time I am at home, and she understands that and keeps the family together," Rivera said.  "She's an amazing woman, and I couldn't have done it without her support."

9th Marine Corps District