Kansas City, Missouri --
Recruiting Station Kansas City recruiters put in countless hours throughout Fiscal Year 2017 searching for the most qualified and physically fit men and women to serve in the Marine Corps.
The recruiters’ efforts didn’t go unnoticed when the commanding officer recognized Marines as the Staff Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, Recruiter of the Year and Rookie Recruiter of the Year.
Staff Sergeant Larry Conklin, a canvassing recruiter for Recruiting Sub Station Independence, was recognized as the Recruiter of the Year and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his efforts.
“I am honored to receive the award,” said Conklin. “There was a lot of hard work, time and effort put into it but it really pays off when you get to see the kids you send to boot camp return as Marines.”
Staff Sergeant Conklin conducted 120 school visits, 96 interviews, and enlisted 33 highly qualified men and women, some who are now Marines.
“I would try to get into a school as much as possible because that’s where the kids are,” said Conklin. “I’d run combat fitness tests, sit down and talk with the kids at lunch, and of course set up the traditional pull up bar, anything to put me in front of the students.”
Though not actively recruiting the next generation of Marines, a staff noncommissioned officer in charge of a RSS is no easy feat; the SNCOIC ensures all Marines under his charge are making mission and keep the morale up.
Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Dodd, SNCOIC for RSS Independence, proved he was more than capable by being awarded the SNCOIC of the Year.
“Winning this award means all my Marines won this award,” said Dodd. “My work is a reflection of my Marines work, this award doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to RSS Independence.”
Rookie recruiters are typically looked at as someone who is learning to adjust to the environment they are in. This was not the case for Staff Sgt. Jacob Lester, a canvassing recruiter for RSS Jefferson City.
During Lester’s his first month on production, he enlisted four men and women, said Staff Sgt. Thomas Hughes, RSS Jefferson City SNCOIC.
“The value of Lester is unmatched,” said Hughes. “He is irreplaceable. He sets the tone for new recruiters checking in.”
Lester rose to the top amongst 13 other rookie recruiters.
Winning the award was the goal from the day one, said Lester.
“There’s no better feeling than seeing your efforts manifested into something you can wear, take home and keep,” he said.