One recruiter has claimed the honors of Recruiting Station Rookie (Recruiter) of the Year and Recruiter of the Year, Midwest Marines Recruiter of the Year, Marine Corps Recruiting Command Recruiter of the Year, and Centurion, which is awarded to recruiters who enlist 100 qualified individuals into the Marine Corps, while earning two meritorious promotions.
Gunnery Sgt. Joshua Shaffer, Recruiting Station Indianapolis, earned all of these accolades, more than most recruiters earn in an entire recruiting career, in only 21 months.
Shaffer was named the recruiting command’s top recruiter Jan. 25, after competing against Staff Sgt. Tyler Davis, the 8th Marine Corps District’s and Western Recruiting Region’s top recruiter. He also received his Centurion award after enlisting his 100th applicant Feb. 2.
Reaching the pinnacle so early in his career has not affected Shaffer’s humble approach to recruiting.
“I would say a lot of people helped me get where I am at,” Shaffer said. “The guidance and coaching (I received) from my staff noncommissioned officers-in-charge, especially in my first year, helped me improve in my weak areas.
“It is a great honor to be recognized as the top recruiter in the nation. All of the recruiters I was competing against were outstanding recruiters as well, so it means a lot to be put in the same category as the other top recruiters. It took a lot of long hours, rough weeks and quite a bit of learning to get here.”
Shaffer said that recruiting is a demanding job that tests your mettle and resolve.
“I came out here with three goals,” said the 26-year-old Morehead, Ky., native. “I wanted to be recruiter of the year, get a meritorious promotion and become a Centurion. I accomplished all of them with pure determination and a refusal to give up. I do not have more skills or abilities in recruiting than (any other) recruiter. The Marine Corps has taught me to do my absolute best in everything I do, and that is all I did.”
Shaffer, who started his recruiting career as a sergeant, has reached each of the goals he set to accomplish as a recruiter and still has nearly a year left to achieve more.
He is currently in charge of his own recruiting substation in Kokomo, Ind. “As a SNCOIC of my own station, my goal is to pass on my knowledge and experience to help make my recruiters as successful, if not more successful, than I have been,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer encourages any recruiters who wish to achieve the same goals he has to be dedicated to their job, their Marines and their poolees.
“You have to be persistent, focused and passionate about what you are doing as a recruiter. If you just go through the motions so you can go home at the end of the day, you are not reaching your full potential. (Applicants) can pick up on your level of passion and zest for the Marine Corps and by showing it in the way you recruit, you can and will change their lives.”