New Marine makes early contribution to Corps
By Sgt. Tiffany Carter
| | May 14, 2005
ROCKVILLE, Md. --
Many Marines go on to do great things after their transformation through boot camp and their military occupational school, but others don’t wait that long before making an impact. Some make great strides long before they’ve even stepped onto the yellow footprints.
Private first class Kevin Gallagher graduated boot camp just a few months ago and he’s already receiving recognition for going above and beyond as a Marine. The motivation for his accomplishments came months before he actually put on the eagle, globe and anchor. Gallagher received an award earlier this quarter for work he did as a member of Recruiting Station Frederick’s Delayed Entry Program. After only four short months in the DEP, Gallagher obtained a total of five referrals for Recruiting Sub-station Rockville.
“Poolees are expected to get two referrals during their time in the DEP,” says Sgt. Maj. Ian Hamilton, RS Frederick’s, pool program coordinator. “They’ll earn special incentives along the way but most importantly they’ll get promoted to private first class. This puts them well ahead of their peers, by about six months.”
This advance in rank and pay is something some poolees don’t really think about seriously while they’re in the DEP. “You don’t realize how important it is until you go to recruit training,” said Gallagher. “You start to get your uniforms together, you see everyone else as a private. You really realize how important it is becoming a Marine and getting rank.”
Not only was it important for Gallagher to gain referrals for promotion, he also showed his recruiter he was an incredible asset to the DEP.
“As soon as he got into the Delayed Entry Program, he requested to come out with me area canvassing and looked at high school lists,” said Gallagher’s recruiter, Sgt. Aaron Machado, RSS Rockville, Md. “At least two to three times a week, he would come out with me and bring me to spots where his friend would hang out and also showed me different hot spots where the kids would be after school and during the evenings.”
Recruiters like Machado appreciate any efforts poolees can provide but also rely on them for their dependability.
“I could count on him when I asked him to do something, for him not only to do it, but to also make sure the other poolees were going to do it also,” said Machado. “I never had to double check if he was going to be here for a pool function, come help out or work out with another poolee. He was always here.”
Being reliable is just one of the first steps to becoming a United States Marine and another is staying motivated. Sometimes it can be tough finding those that are up to the challenge but it’s important to keep looking if you really want that promotion.
“Some people weren’t very friendly to random people coming up and talking to them,” said Gallagher. “They would just walk away and ignore me. And I would just move on to the next person. At first I would just get down about it. I would be afraid to go and talk to another person, but then I realized if I didn’t do it I wouldn’t gain anything.”
Gallagher did gain something, the respect from his peers, an early promotion and a feeling of self-pride for going above and beyond in his duties as a poolee. That motivation continued while he was on recruiter’s assistance.
“He’s still as motivated to find people to join, he said it was a great experience and a great opportunity,” said Machado. “That’s what I think drives him as much as it drives a recruiter. When we believe what we’re doing is beneficial for these kids, it makes us work that much more.”
Gallagher continues to work hard at getting that next promotion. He has some downtime in between picking up his next class at MOS school so he’ll be coming back to RSS Rockville for round two of recruiter’s assistance. And maybe this time when he returns to school he’ll be going back as a lance corporal, earning two promotions, all before spending one day in the