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Recruiter Journal
All thenoncommissioned officers particapants.
7 NCOs earn Master Recruiting Badge

By Jodi Witt
USAREC Public Affairs
November 10, 2016

FORT KNOX, Ky. -- Seven U.S. Army Recruiting Command noncommissioned officers can now call themselves "master recruiters" after successfully demonstrating their expertise in recruiting during an intense nine-day hands-on performance evaluation that concluded here Nov. 9.

This marks the third year the competition has been held since the Master Recruiter Badge's inception, designating it as the ultimate identification for Soldiers mastering the technical skills for the recruiting profession.

The following NCOs earned the Master Recruiter Badge this year:

  • Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Byrnes, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Milwaukee
  • Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Clements, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Jacksonville
  • 1st. Sgt. Chris Doyle, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Cleveland
  • Staff Sgt. Jessica Hamilton, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Houston
  • Sgt. 1st Class Carson Morris, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Tampa
  • Sgt. 1st Class John Steele, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Great Lakes
  • Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Wooldridge, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion - Jacksonville
During the presentation ceremony, USAREC leaders recognized the hard work and dedication put forth by all 16 of this year's competitors. Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, USAREC commanding general, congratulated all the competitors on a job well done and encouraged those who did not earn the badge this time to try again next year.

"What impresses me more is their commitment to the organization," said Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Stoneburg, USAREC's senior enlisted leader. "I am proud of all of you."

This year's seven recipients bring the number of NCOs who have earned the badge to a total of 17.

The elite status of the badge didn't deter the drive of this year's competitors. After completing the hands-on performance evaluation, the competitors provided words of encouragement to charge other recruiters and peers to step up to the challenge.

Sgt. 1st Class David Harris, a Master Recruiter Badge competitor from Miami Recruiting Battalion, said not knowing what to expect from each event and the time constraints proved challenging.

However challenging, the recruiters striving to earn the badge found the competition very rewarding in many aspects as well.

"The overall event itself was the most rewarding to me because of the individuals who are competing with me and the relationships that I have built through the process," Hamilton said.

The competition not only provided the noncommissioned officers the opportunity to test their strengths and weaknesses but also the chance to forge new relationships with fellow recruiters and to learn best practices from across the career field.

"I did learn a lot from my peers here," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Scott, a competitor coming from the Miami Recruiting Battalion. Scott added that he would encourage recruiters to strive for this achievement and to push themselves to earn the badge.

The competition proved challenging at times, but the competitors found strength in the Army values and relied on those lessons learned as a Soldier to give them the determination to push through to the end.

"Duty - not only for myself and for the task I was given to come compete out here, but I also have a team standing behind me, my recruiting office, my Soldiers, even my Future Soldiers who are waiting to ship to basic training, and of course my battalion [and] brigade, they were really counting on me," Hamilton said.

Competitors also found personal courage and leadership essential to shaping their drive, will and desire to succeed.

"It's one thing to think that you know how to do your job, but it's another to be evaluated on knowing how to do your job," Steele said before knowing he was about to become one of the seven to earn the badge this year. "Personal courage, just coming up and having the intestinal fortitude to come to the event and put yourself in front of those that developed the training materials."

Participants learned valuable lessons during the competition and plan take some of the lessons learned during the competition back to their centers. Doyle plans to work with his team to relook some of their current processes and to setup a step-by-step process approach to recruiting.

He acknowledged how recruiting is a part of their profession, and this competition sets recruiters apart from their peers.

"I would recommend Soldiers compete for this event, because of what I have learned over the last 10 days, I can say leaving here ... I have become a better leader and definitely brushed up and become a stronger subject matter expert in my field," Hamilton said.

In fiscal year 2016, 675 Soldiers were recommended by their battalions and brigades to take the Master Recruiter Badge Competency Test. There were 17 who achieved a score of 85 percent or higher, which is the requirement in order to move on to the hands-on performance testing phase.

During the final phase of testing, Soldiers must successfully complete 222 of 261 performance tasks.


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