A Miracle on 42nd Street!
By Sgt A.R. Hay
| | August 27, 2003
NEW YORK CITY --
In years past, people have been successful at the recruiting office in Times Square, but today, Staff Sgt. Marcos Cordero has brought it to new heights.
Being a recruiter at Times Square can be a dream come true or a nightmare waiting to happen. The ability to balance an abundance of tasks and still surmount oncoming challenges is what makes Cordero stand out from the crowd.
When he was assigned to New York, this Washington Heights native knew three things; it was going to be hard work, he was going to have fun and he was going to get meritoriously promoted.
The busy nature of Times Square fits well with Cordero. The rush of city life at the crossroads of America keeps his everyday job from being normal.
"It's always so interesting," said Cordero. "There's always something going on. Between the sites and the atmosphere, it makes me want to get out there and do things, too."
Recruiting in Times Square does not make Cordero exempt from dealing with the stresses of this duty. He combats the long hours and the negativity by remaining positive and optimistic. When dealing with hard times, he pulls himself out of it by remembering the good times, taking a break and focusing on his goals.
"I have too much pride to let this bring me down," said Cordero. "I'm my own worse critic, so I keep myself in check."
He credits a large amount of his success to the rapport he has with people, especially his pool. He maintains constant contact with his poolees and takes on the role of a big brother.
"People want to be a part of something real and knowing someone is looking out for them," said Cordero. "The camaraderie speaks for itself and when they tell their friends it builds interest and they may come see me too."
He also extends that rapport to his community to saturate his area with the Marine Corps image.
"I've learned if you're nice to people and up front with them, they'll like that and respect you for it," said Cordero. "If people are comfortable with you they'll do anything for you. So just be yourself and just talk to everyone. Everyone knows someone."
Even the best of recruiting stations has its downside. Thousands of people walk through Times Square everyday, however, most of them are tourists with a good number of them from other countries.
Additionally, the office is usually the rally point of choice for demonstrations; most recently with the war in Iraq.
An example of his optimism in dealing with this distraction would be while the other services wore athletic attire or just didn't come to their office, Cordero proudly wore his uniform and handed out his business cards. If they didn't have a hand to shake, they had a pocket for his card.
Another reality of New York is crime. While in Lower Manhattan, Cordero was coming out of one of his schools when a bank employee grabbed him asking for help that they just had been robbed. Cordero chased the robber down the street, called 911, grabbed a police officer along the way and did a leg sweep on the suspect allowing the PD to capture him. He was later was recognized by the New York Police Department.
He also received a letter and visit from the Commanding General of MCRC for his civic gallantry.
Despite all the pressures and stresses of recruiting in the public eye Cordero excelled. He was meritoriously promoted to staff sergeant and was recognized as one of the top three recruiters during the latest winter offensive.
The combination of his dynamic personality and unique location has made Cordero a recruiting powerhouse for New York and has taken Marine recruiting to skyscraper levels.