by Kyle Hafer
Communication is the first step in making contacts as a Navy recruiter. If a well-qualified candidate has the desire to pursue a career in the Navy, the recruiter has to be able to build a relationship founded on trust and clear information given to the Future Sailor.
With important information being relayed on special program incentives, bonuses, or technical trade schools, a misunderstanding or misconception can be lifechanging. That’s why Navy Recruiters are trained to use one of the most important tools they have in their job; clear and concise communication.
Navy Counselor 1st Class Jonathan Estrada, a San Diego native and assigned to Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Jacksonville, FL, said being bilingual has helped him start people off on a Navy career, especially in Florida where there is a very large Hispanic population.
“Although I am of Mexican decent, a majority of the people here speak Spanish, so it has been easier for me to talk to them about the opportunities the Navy has,” said Estrada. “It has helped me talk to mothers who were unsure of what their sons and daughters were going to be doing as a Navy Sailor. I’ve been able to explain the benefits to these Future Sailors.”
Before becoming a recruiter, Estrada recognized that some Sailors didn’t have the information about the many opportunities afforded to them in the Navy.
“I desired to help Future Sailors and show them all of the great benefits and opportunities they can have,” said Estrada. “I wanted to come to the source of the Navy where careers start.”
Estrada said that his family has served in the United States military since the Civil War, and with motivation from his father, who is a retired chief petty officer in the Navy, he decided the Navy was the best branch of military service to continue the family tradition.
“Growing up and seeing your dad in uniform instills pride at a young age,” said Estrada. “I went to college and started to think about what I wanted to do with my life. My very first thought was to see what the Navy had to offer?”
With 16 years of active duty service, Estrada said he has made an impact on countless Sailors and Future Sailors.
“The most rewarding part about being a recruiter is receiving phone calls from Sailors that just graduated from boot camp,” said Estrada. “These Sailors could have called their family, but they called their recruiters. They reached out to us and thanked us for getting them on that first step to becoming a United States Navy Sailor.”
NRC consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 20 Navy Recruiting Districts and six Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,300 recruiting stations with a total force of more than 6,100 personnel across the globe. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
Kyle Hafer is a Petty Officer 2nd Class, Navy Recruiting Command.
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