Richmond, Va. --
Gunnery Sgt. Jerry Laurenti, Marine Corps Recruiting Station Richmond’s operations chief, is known for his high level of energy and enthusiasm for whatever task is put in front of him. That is partially why the only one surprised when he was selected as the 4th Marine Corps District’s Operations Chief of the Year for 2013 was Laurenti himself.
An operations chief requires a high level of multi-tasking skills, a cool head, an in-depth knowledge of recruiting requirements and procedures, a healthy dose of self-confidence, and plenty of long hours.
However, Laurenti still made time to motivate his fellow Marines in the headquarters building every chance he got, even if it was just to come over and flex his biceps and tell you to catch up to him.
Laurenti passes much of the credit on to his fellow Marines.
“I owe it all to my clerks, who trained me when I took over as the operations chief,” said Laurenti. “Sgt. Katie Latimer taught me everything I know.”
His clerks are not the only people he credits with his success.
“A big part of what made me a successful ops chief is the support and trust I received from the command,” said Laurenti, a native of Mission, Texas. “I was not handcuffed in anyway. They allowed me to make some pretty tough decisions, and then supported me through them,”
Laurenti not only looks to learn every day, but also passes his wealth of recruiting knowledge on to others every chance he gets.
“It is important to mentor and train everybody in the command, from the new recruiter to the staff noncommissioned officer in charge to members of the command group,” said Laurenti. “Not all of them have been recruiting for a long time, and it is important to get them all up to speed.”
Laurenti makes it a point to always learn, and always teach.
“He is a great leader,” said Sgt. Christopher Harris, Recruiting Station Richmond’s operations clerk. “He always thinks of the Marines first. This is a totally different job from anything I have ever done as an administration specialist, but he makes sure you get up to speed quick, because we have to do things correctly the first time, every time. It is a stressful job, but he makes you feel confident through his confidence and guidance.”
Laurenti’s secret to success is simple, be professional.
“The most important thing is to treat everyone professionally. Being an operations chief is a high stress job, so it can be easy to become bitter,” said Laurenti. “But, you can not. You have to maintain that professionalism with everyone, and your own motivation as well.”
To illustrate his positive attitude, his favorite response to any question is almost always an enthusiastic, “absolutely!”
In the rare moments Laurenti is not in the office, he is usually playing golf or watching sports, especially the San Francisco 49ers during football season.
Laurenti’s award comes just before he leaves Recruiting Station Richmond to become the SNCOIC of Recruiting Sub-Station Plano, Texas. His goals are to pick up master sergeant, but more importantly, to make sure the six Marine recruiters he will be supervising in Plano are successful.