Cartoon Watchers Make Mission Early
By Sgt. Amanda Hay
| | August 28, 2002
TOMS RIVER, N.J. --
Ocean County is not only one of the vacation hot spots for families and partygoers to the Jersey Shore, but apparently it's the best place to be a Marine recruiter.
The team of three Marines led by Staff Sgt. Ronald E Bohlayer at Recruiting Sub-Station Toms River, N.J., consistently manages to close out within the first or second week each month. They achieved first on target status six out of 11 months this fiscal year. They've also made mission for the past 33 months, ever since Bohlayer has been the noncommissioned officer-in-charge.
This aggressive team is often referred to as "meat eaters" as opposed to "leaf eaters" by the commanding officer of Recruitung Station New Jersey, Maj. S.M. Neary.
The Marines are the first to acknowledge that they enjoy the higher quality of life they have made for themselves, however there is no set liberty schedule. "We meet at 0900 every morning. There's never a time where I say, 'alright we make mission, take four days off,'" Bohlayer said. "You have to maintain the momentum."
They have the freedom to take half-days, leave and take care of personal situations as need be. It is very rare to find someone in this office past 7 p.m., unless it's a parental consent or late appointment. There is one exception where they work late and that's the Wednesday evening Physical Training sessions. The team requires poolees, who in turn invite their friends to come just for fun, to do the Recon short card. This is in addition to their monthly Saturday pool functions, which are usually more fun, team-building type of functions such as football or canoeing or skiing.
When they do have their time off though, these Marines have their own interests. Bohlayer, goes to the gym or beach, and rides his motorcycle; Gunnery Sgt. Craig M. Kovacs, enjoys golfing and spending time with his family; Sgt. Jason S. Davis, enjoys spending time with his wife; Sgt. Richard R. Cornish enjoys spending time with his family and going four-wheeling with his jeep.
The team, collectively, has been referred as the team that "Makes mission and watches cartoons." They got the reputation as "cartoon watchers" when Bohlayer answered a call on his cell phone from Neary on a Saturday morning while he was watching cartoons because they were closed out.
The team speaks in unity of the fact that they keep it simple and it's a team effort. "I tell them what I expect from them and hold them accountable, but it's not just me; this team will not accept failure," said Bohalyer. "There's a pride in ownership of who we are and our success streak. And of course, they all realize and enjoy the quality of life they have so, it's not just me holding them accountable. They help each other, but if one person isn't holding their weight you can guarantee the other recruiters will keep on him."
Although the team has had several Marines turnover, they've managed to stay successful when a new Marine joins the team. The most challenging part for them is they have to stay on top of their game. "We have to make sure we don't get complacent," Bohlayer said. "Once we each take the time off we need, we have to keep moving. Once we have the momentum going and we close out early, we have no excuse of why we shouldn't continue. We have the time."