By Fonda Bock
USAREC Public Affairs
May 1, 2017
FORT KNOX Ky. - A passion for leadership inspired a Chicago area recruiter to create a leadership development course for the general public; as an unintended but welcome outcome, the program positively impacted his recruiting efforts.
Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Nosser, Naperville (Illinois) Recruiting Center, teaches the Naperville Leadership Development Program, a 16-hour course open to the general public, at the local library and has even taught the class at Downers-Grove High School as an extracurricular activity.
"The idea came to me when I noticed that schools are failing to provide students with the attributes and training necessary for them to succeed in life," Nosser said. "I found a way to help those that are interested."
Attendees, so far, have ranged in age from 16-45. Those who successfully complete the course earn certificate of completion, which Nosser said he hopes, one day, will "mean something to employers."
Although Nosser never intended for the program to be a recruiting initiative, seven of the 60 people he's taught have enlisted - five students from the high school and two young adults who attended the library courses.
Nosser teaches in his uniform and tells students his Army story on the first day of class.
"I didn't have to bring up (enlisting)," Nosser said. "It's just teaching them, giving them the knowledge, and (the topic) just came up. Some of the kids asked (about enlisting), and they wanted to join.
"It gets back to inspiring them to join instead of asking them to commit, (and) I believe that is what made it successful. People can sense when you are pushing for a sale. That was never the goal; I think my sincerity helped many decide to pursue the Army."
The program has grown by word of mouth, and many students are seeking Nosser's mentorship and direction personally, according to Chicago Recruiting Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Derek Keller.
"The course has grown to a regular staple," Keller said. "The high school guidance counselors are working to incorporate the seminar into an extracurricular club that will count toward leadership credit on the students' high school transcripts, which would ultimately help with the college admissions process."
Keller said Nosser views recruiting as a means of community outreach and stewardship of the profession.
"He is actively seeking out the next generation of Soldiers who are committed to the values that make this nation and Army great," Keller said. "This is demonstrated in the individual level of care given to his enlistments and the time he invests within the community. Sgt. 1st Class Nosser views his recruiting mission as a means to help others ... accomplish their goals. He is passionate about investing in the nation's youth."
A former 15R, Apache helicopter repairman, Nosser was assigned to the Chicago Recruiting Battalion in 2014. He hopes to convert to a 79R to become a career recruiter.