Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, 16th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, met with Marines and sailors of 9th Marine Corps District and Recruiting Sub-stations South Omaha, K-Metro and Olathe May 18 – 19.
During his visit, Kent discussed many topics such as the transition out of Iraq, the new focus in Afghanistan, updating issued gear and the current state of recruiting. He focused much of his speech on the recruiters’ swift progression toward the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ goal of expanding the Marine Corps to 202,000 personnel by 2012.
“All those recruiters can tell you better than me,” Kent said “we are almost at 202K. We could probably hit 202K today if we wanted to.”
The push for growth to 202,000 began in fiscal 2007 and recruiters had until 2012 to meet it. Recruiters nationally have nearly reached the goal in approximately half the time given. Kent said he and the commandant are especially proud the recruiters have made it so far without lowering applicant standards.
“Recruiters told me they didn’t want to lower the standards. They tell me all the time, ‘Sergeant Major, we just don’t take anybody. As a matter of fact we send (our unqualified applicants) to the recruiting offices to our left and our right,’” Kent said.