Recruiters honored for filling the Corps' Reserve
By Sgt. Jimmie Perkins
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | January 28, 2004
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Marine Corps Recruiting Command recently announced the Transitional and Prior Service Recruiters of the Year for fiscal year 2003. The Prior Service Recruiter (PSR) of the Year is Staff Sgt. Sean Kennedy, PSR Site Worcester, Mass., 1st District. The Transitional Recruiter of the Year is Staff Sgt. Phillip M. Reimers, 2nd Transitional Recruiting Office, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Both Marines expressed their pride for receiving these recognitions.
"Given that I have only a year and a half on the street as a recruiter, it is a really big honor," said Reimers.
"It's always very rewarding to be recognized as the best at what you do, but when you factor in the competition of this elite organization we proudly call our Corps, it's even more rewarding," said Kennedy.
These Marines fill vital rolls in sustaining the ranks of the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) by keeping highly trained Marines within the fold of the Marine Corps while providing placement and work for Marines whose active duty service has come to a close.
Transitional recruiters inform all Marines leaving active duty about the opportunities available to them in the SMCR. This is often done through career counseling sessions and Transitional Assistance Program (TAPS) classes. Transitional Recruiters also can assist Marines with less than 30-days of separation time with orders to a local reserve unit.
"It is important to educate the younger Marines that they still have a reserve obligation after their first term, and that if they chose, they can fulfill that obligation with a paid job serving in a reserve unit near their home," said the Billings, Mt., native.
For Reimers the task was made challenging by the impact of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism.
"My biggest challenge last year was the stop-loss order, because nobody got out for about six months," said Reimers. "There were also some OIF veterans who were hesitant about transitioning to the reserves and redeploying back to Iraq so soon with reserve units. But there are also many Marines who are looking to the reserves as an opportunity to deploy and participate directly in the Global War on Terrorism."
Kennedy also agrees that the current pace of operations has placed added importance on the work done by he and his fellow Prior Service Recruiters.
"Under the Total Force Concept our modern day Marine Corps depends on it's reserve components to accomplish the mission," said the Canton, Mass., native. "Prior Service Recruiters like myself work daily to keep those reserve ranks healthy with prior service Marines, officer and enlisted who are standing at the ready to mobilize and go to the fight."
For Marines with longer periods of separation, Prior Service Recruiters such as Kennedy provide information and assist former Marines in entry into the SMCR.
"The greatest satisfaction comes from helping Marines. Many prior service Marines miss the Marine Corps and all of the intangibles that make our rod and gun club so special," said Kennedy. "Every month we join Marines back and help them to fill that void in their lives as well as get them back on the road to a career that they have already invested in."
Reimers echoed the reward of helping Marines stay involved with the Marine Corps, "I find satisfaction in being able to find a Marine a guaranteed reserve job at home, helping both that Marine, and the Marine Corps out at the same time."