STAFFORD, Va. --
Support personnel from the Marine Corps Recruiting Command Headquarters spent time with local canvassing recruiters to learn more about their daily activities and mission.
Three Marines from the administrative, marketing and communication, and operations sections at MCRC Headquarters did a recruiter ride-along November 17. Marines in supporting positions to the recruiting effort can sometimes struggle to fully understand the day to day tactical recruiting activities canvassing recruiters execute in the performance of their duties, and a ride-along serves to bridge some of those gaps.
"We work behind the scenes for the men and women we have on the streets every day. It was a different experience to see firsthand how our work affects them on a day to day basis,” said Lance Cpl. Emmily Mateos. “I’m glad I got to learn how important my job is to the recruiters.”
One of the recruiters who hosted the Marines, Staff Sgt. Kenneth Julian said, "I liked showing the MCRC Marines that this SDA is a constant grind and it is very rewarding to watch young men and women earn the title of U.S. Marine.”
First, the Marines were briefed much like permissive temporary assigned duty Marines helping recruiters are – about their responsibilities. They learned about different recruiting activities like area canvassing, digital contact and telephone calls. Area Canvassing is when a recruiter meets prospects face-to-face in the local area to obtain their name and sufficient follow-up information. Digital Contact is an activity during which a recruiter connects with prospects through social media or text messaging with the goal of scheduling an appointment. Telephone Calls are contacting a prospect on the phone to schedule an appointment.
With the help of Staff Sgt. Patrick Breen, a recruiter at Recruiting Substation Stafford, the Marines received a list of names and numbers with local high school graduates of the class of 2019, and the TCs began. Some calls were answered but most were not. For the ones that did not pick up, a message was sent to them via text message asking to see if they were the person on the list and then it was right on to the next number. For hours the Marines called and before they knew it is was time for lunch.
During lunch time, the Marines were afforded time to eat and to AC. For 30 minutes, the Marines walked around a nearby store, introducing themselves and searching for potential applicants but were not able to find anyone interested. The Marines headed back.
"I liked showing the MCRC Marines that this SDA is a constant grind and it is very rewarding to watch young men and women earn the title of U.S. Marine.” Staff Sgt. Kenneth Julian, USMC recruiter
Once in the RSS, the Marines reported their results and continued TCs in hopes of at least one person answering and being interested in learning more about the Marine Corps. After a few pages of TCs, Breen gave the Marines a list of people who took and passed the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. Marine recruiters use the ASVAB to see if the prospects qualify mentally to join the Marine Corps, and use passing scores to determine what occupational specialties might fit them best. Armed with the list, the Marines started DCs. Using Instagram and Facebook, the Marines scoured social media for prospects, repeatedly searching and messaging until they received a response. The conversation typically starts with an introduction, “Good afternoon, I’m Lance Cpl. Madison Smith, I am an assistant Marine representative and was wondering if you have ever thought about joining the military.” As time went on, a few responded, writing that they were not interested for a number of reasons. The Marines responded back but didn’t get any more replies.
As the Marines continued making DCs, the recruiters met one-on-one with their appointments and informed the prospects about the Marine Corps while screening their eligibility. Some prospects and applicants took the Pre-screening, Internet-delivered Computer Adaptive Test, and the recruiters answered any questions they had. Every day, Marine recruiters have a set number of ACs, DCs, TCs, and appointments they have to make and track to ensure they are productive and can successfully complete their mission for the month. Achieving these numbers usually require late nights or early mornings in the office.
This is a challenging SDA and if you are considering becoming a recruiter you need to be 110% prepared for it, Julian said. We are not just Marine Corps Recruiters but we are in fact career counselors for the young people in our area.
As the MCRC Marines finished their DCs, they received an out brief from the staff noncommissioned officer in charge, Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Gwin. The out brief allowed the SNCOIC to see the progress of the Marines, talk about the expectations they had coming into the day, what they could have done better and what they did well.
Recruiting is a very important mission. Without Marine recruiters there wouldn’t be a Marine Corps. Marines interested in helping their recruiter prospect for future Marines in their home town should request recruiter’s assistance through their chain of command.
Marine noncommissioned officers and SNCOs who have a strong work ethic, commitment to duty, and drive to succeed while changing the lives of young men and women should speak to their unit’s career planner and submit a volunteer package to become a Marine recruiter.
Marines serving on this special duty assignment are eligible to compete for meritorious promotions, and those who complete successful tours as recruiters enjoy enhanced competitiveness for promotion.
Marines who volunteer for recruiting may choose between the following monetary incentive options for their 36-month tour: $653 additional pay per month; $375 per month plus a $10,000 lump sum; or $150 per month plus a $17,000 lump sum. For more information about volunteer incentives, consult MARADMIN 441/20 or see your career planner today.