The numbers are in and the Recruiting Station Lansing Legionnaires are rated number one in the 9th Marine Corps District for fiscal year 2005 having contracted and shipped more than its fair share mission.
The net average per recruiter was 1.35 percent, the highest in the nation.
“Our boys worked their butts off this year,” said Capt. Elgin Young, operations officer, RS Lansing. “They over-shipped on average, over-contracted and made mission overall.”
With a net new contracting mission from Marine Corps Recruiting Command of 659, the RS net-contracted 761 — 116 percent over the actual mission.
Contracting was good, but shipping was better. The two went hand-in-hand and it showed as RS Lansing shipped 766 recruits to recruit training. This was 112 percent more than their assigned mission.
RS Lansing’s major strengths was in their pool maintenance. They started the new fiscal year with a 61 percent pool.
“If you put them into the pool, you got to ship them,” said Young. “We have the strongest pool in the District.”
Young said the station’s success comes through recruiters’ ability to contract and consistently maintain the Delayed Entry Program’s pool to its fullest capacity. Each recruiter pulling his weight and contracting high-quality individuals achieves this.
Personal pride and a desire to be successful are hallmarks of Lansing’s recruiters, according to Commanding Officer Maj. Richard Whitmer.
“We are very competitive and each new recruiter learns right from the beginning that we will do what it takes to be successful,” he said. “We use the fundamentals, we train, plan and execute well — nothing unique.”
RS Lansing’s Recruiter of the Year, Staff Sgt. Jason M. Duggar, said he was pushed hard during 2005. He emphasized the importance of screening applicants early and thoroughly.
The commanding officer’s formula for success boils down to three things that revolve around the basic concepts in the fundamental structure of systematic recruiting.
“There isn’t one single thing that will make you successful; rather, it is a series of things that must be done and done well,” said Whitmer. “Do what you have been trained to do. Do it with enthusiasm and a good attitude and you will be successful.”
Whitmer said recruiting changes constantly. Because of this, he made small adjustments each month based on situations as the month developed.
The third thing was training to combat deficiencies.
Duggar, like other recruiters in RS Lansing, receives about three hours of recruiting training a week. He said he went into training with an attitude and determination to improve and found the training worked when he took it to the streets.
“I focused on planning, prospecting, listening to the applicants and closing,” Duggar said. “Those are my main focuses. It helps me to organize my recruiting effort and it allows me to find the needs of the applicants to see if we can really help them in their lives.”
Aside from the Personal Selling Skills training and prayer to get through the difficult days, he added a genuine, personable flare to his recruiting style.
“You have to get out there, shake hands and talk to people all the time … and smile,” he said. “It’s easier to talk to them when you’re smiling. It brings a great attitude across about the Marine Corps (and that) of self-confidence.”
His community-oriented mindset is in line with Whitmer’s plan for 2006 to get more active in high schools, build more relationships in the community and take better care of the pool.
Recruiters are going to spend time training their poolees mentally and physically for boot camp. Whitmer said he wants every recruiter to find out what’s going on in each poolee’s life to help prevent situations from developing which might keep someone from shipping to recruit training.
Duggar couldn’t agree with him more. He wants to get more involved in the media, teachers, poolees’ families and the community overall. Areas he will hone in on during 2006 are parades, Boy Scouts, Young Marines programs and veterans organizations.
As a testament to RS Lansing’s success during 2005, one Marine earned the Dynamic Dozen and received a Meritorious Mast, three received Certificates of Commendation and eleven received Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
Whitmer praises the Marines at RS Lansing often. He said he has hard workers and that they all contributed to achieve “Recruiting Station of the Year” for 9th MCD.
“We break the year into 12 sequential missions; each builds on the success of the previous month,” he said. “We accomplish each mission to the best of our ability. Having said that, we expect to win ‘RS of the Year’ every year. Anything less is a disappointment. You can count on us to accomplish the mission.”