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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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Career-guiding Marines gather aboard Depot, discuss tempo, retention

By Cpl. Shawn M. Toussaint | | June 11, 2004

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The Corps' career retention specialists gathered at 12th Marine Corps Recruiting District headquarters here recently for their fourth annual conference.

Traditionally, the specialists gather at Headquarters Marine Corps in Quantico, Va.;  however, this year's conference location gave attendees a "change of scenery and a change of perspective," said Gunnery Sgt. Tim Hale, career retention specialist monitor, Headquarters Marine Corps.

"We wanted the Marines from other units to have more of a sense of ownership in the direction the (military occupational skill) is moving," said Hale.

Former Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, retired Sgt. Maj. Lewis G. Lee addressed the conference. He said, with the nation at war, Marine career retention specialists play a vital role against global terrorism and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I thank you for what you do and who you are ... Your job is critical to the Marine Corps," Brig. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., Depot and Western Recruiting Region commanding general, during his welcome-aboard brief.

The primary objective of the conference was to provide career retention specialists with the knowledge to best serve their fellow Marines and the Corps as a whole, said Gunnery Sgt. Todd A. James, Depot career retention specialist.

"The CRS conference allows career retention specialists from around the Marine Corps the opportunity to come together, voice concerns, and establish consistency throughout our MOS," said Master Sgt. Lloyd Brown, career retention specialist chief, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga.

"Standardization of systems is a vital element of any successful organization," said career retention specialist Staff Sgt. Dorothy M. Gordon, Marine Security Guard Battalion, Quantico, Va.  "The annual conference has allowed us to standardize our system and promote a sense of consistent growth."

A new addition to this year's conference was the Professional Selling Skills Core training course offered to recruiters and all new career retention specialists since Sept. 11, 2001.

"The great thing about adding the sales training to the conference is that it teaches the section chiefs what many of their Marines already know," said Gunnery Sgt. Robert E. Pederson, Recruiters School instructor here.

By the end of the two-week conference, many of the attendees left with a wealth of knowledge, and more importantly, a sense of urgency to share that knowledge with their fellow Marines, according to James.

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