Utilizing your RAs to their full potential

27 Jul 2006 |

Representing the ranks from Pvt. through Sgt., recruiter aides can regularly refer up to 15 percent of a recruiting station’s annual mission.

As an essential component of Command Recruiting, recruiter aides can help a station achieve more from Systematic Recruiting. Ensuring these assistants are working efficiently can make or break a recruiting substation’s chance of making mission.

“A recruiter aide is a good tool to have, because they know their area far better than a recruiter ever could,” said Gunnery Sgt. Richard L. Southern, staff non-commissioned officer in charge, RSS West County. According to Southern, a career recruiter, they usually reach the expectations of the SNCOIC.

“They want to be treated like recruiters, so we put them to work like recruiters,” Southern said. “If they feel they’re actually recruiting, vice just being a ‘gopher,’ they’ll go out and work (hard) for you.”

Though these temporary recruiters don’t have the advantage of seven weeks of Recruiters School, they can still be successful when given guidance from the SNCOIC or recruiters at the RSS.

Pfc. Justin K. Szerletich is an infantryman with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. Instead of using leave days to spend time in his home town, He was granted 16 days on the Permissive Recruiter Assistance Program with RSS Springfield. Szerletich said when he checked in to the RSS, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas L. Altevogt, Springfield’s SNCOIC, worked with him to improve his communication skills.

“The Gunny definitely taught me how to talk with people and how to approach them about the Marine Corps,” he said. “Juniors and seniors seem to be more likely to talk to someone my age.”
This is Szerletich’s second tour on Recruiter’s Assistance. After only three days, he already scheduled a few interviews.

“I spend most of my time trying to get faces in to the office,” Szerletich said.
The benefits of being a recruiter’s aide are both tangible and intangible. A private who contracts a referral will receive a promotion to private first class. With two referrals in grade, he will earn a promotion to lance corporal.  Referrals are each worth 20 points toward the cutting score, with a maximum of five referrals allowed for lance corporals and corporals.
Szerletich said he’s also learning about the Marine Corps from the recruiters and recruiter aides he’s working with.

“I’m infantry, so getting to interact with Marines with other (Military Occupational Specialties) is cool,” he said.

When both recruiters and recruiter aides know the benefits and how to do their job, Southern said a working relationship between the two is easily maintained.

“Treat them like a recruiter,” Southern said. “Make sure they have a mission, hold them to it, and they’ll have a successful tour.”

9th Marine Corps District