New Cumberland, PA --
“I was shocked, and honored that the Marine Corps recognized me for this. I never thought this was in the cards for me. It felt like all of my hard work payed off in the end,” said Staff Sgt. Scott L. Kupres, a prior service recruiter out of Quantico.
Kupres, an Oak Lawn, Illinois native, was named the 4th Marine Corps District Prior Service Recruiter of the Year for Fiscal Year 2016 for his service at Prior Service Recruiting Station 4, Permanent Contact Station Quantico. Distinguishing himself by going above and beyond his mission, Kupres completed 161% of his requirements and surpassed his monthly mission of 3.25 joins per month by achieving 5.25 joins per month. This resulted in 63 prior service Marines joining the Marine Corps Reserve, while his mission was only 39.
“Staff Sergeant Kupres’ professionalism and dedication to mission accomplishment resulted in a better manned Marine Corps Reserve,” said Maj. Nathan J. Braden, the officer in charge of PSRS4, 4th Marine Corps District.
When Kupres, originally an aircraft communications, navigation, radar and systems technician for the F/A-18, heard he was receiving this award, many thoughts raced through his mind, but his initial reaction was one of surprise. Things weren’t always this good for Kupres. He recalls facing struggles early in his career and having to work very hard to become proficient at his military occupation specialty. He believes part of his success came from adapting to adversity throughout his career.
“When I was mobilized in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I immediately transitioned to the battalion guard force. I needed to learn all aspects of the interior guard and provisional infantry in a hurry,” said Kupres. “By the time I became a Prior Service Recruiter, I was an expert at learning things on the go, and was able to do quite well after only a short time.”
Kupres also attributes much of his success to the mentors who helped guide him.
“Gunnery Sgt. Church, Master Sgt. Wilkinson and Sgt. Coate all made me feel at home as soon as I checked in,” said Kupres. “They also let me know that I had access to all the knowledge that they had acquired over the years. I called upon them regularly, and I would not have made it without them. I would also like to thank my girlfriend for supporting me through all of this. She made all the long hours easier to handle.”
Kupres offered his own advice to Marines seeking to become prior service recruiters or to improve their performance
“Put the applicants and the reserve units first,” said Kupres. “If you do, the applicants will tell their friends about you, and the units will work for you as much as you work for them. Try and help your fellow recruiters accomplish their mission as much as you care about making your own. They will return the favor, and everyone will be more productive because of it.”
Kupres has been a Marine for 14 years and has served overseas in Iraq, Kuwait, Niger, Malaysia, Japan, Guam and South Korea. His awards include a Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Achievement Medal and Certificate of Commendation.
“I remember people lining up for miles during the first elections in Iraq,” said Kupres. “I remember helping launch F/A-18's for the first time in Texas. I remember becoming a collateral duty inspector for avionics. I remember graduating Combat Marksmanship Course at Stone Bay.”
Years of service yield years of memories, but Kupres said that for now, his next goal is to keep on recruiting.
“I plan on staying competitive for this award next year as well,” said Kupres. “Eventually, I hope to become a career recruiter someday. It's hard to say how this (award) will affect my career, but I hope it will help me accomplish my goal.”