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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Lorain, Ohio native wins 4MCD recruiter instructor of the year award

By Cpl. Amber Williams | 4th Marine Corps District | December 22, 2014

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Recruiting Station Frederick’s recruiter instructor has been recognized as the 4th Marine Corps District Recruiter Instructor of the Year for 2014.

Master Sgt. Michael A. Rivas came out as the top nomination from the eight RSs within 4MCD for his high level of performance and leadership.

“It's very humbling to know that I was even thought of as a competitor for this award.   I'm proud to represent RS Frederick's RI shop. I mention that because I did not win this award – the RI Shop did, the command group did,” said Rivas.  

Rivas, a Lorain, Ohio native, enlisted into the Marine Corps in October of 1996. He attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.  He then proceeded to serve at multiple units throughout his career in the supply field. As a sergeant in 2004, he was selected for recruiting duty.

In May 2004, Rivas reported Recruiting Station Frederick as a canvassing recruiter. After his promotion to staff sergeant, Rivas was assigned as the staff noncommissioned officer of Recruiting Sub-Station Winchester.

In 2006, Rivas was selected to become a career recruiter, and so he went on to serve in various billets within recruiting including operations chief and assistant recruiter instructor. In May 2012, Rivas was promoted to his current rank of Master Sergeant, and he then received orders back to RS Frederick to serve as the Recruiter Instructor.

Rivas faces many challenges as an RI.

“The different levels of experience amongst the staff noncommissioned officers makes for a roller coaster of individual training requirements,” said Rivas.  “These requirements vary and are not all necessarily on the job training checklist. I always look forward to that challenge though.”

The award is a testament to Rivas’ understanding of the recruiting battlefield and his ability to train future Marine Corps recruiters.

“I had no clue that I was up for this award,” he said. “There are many great RI's in the 4th Marine Corps District, so it's the type of thing that makes me realize that I must get better.  The expectations have risen, and I feel I must live up to them.”

4th Marine Corps District Training Chief, Master Gunnery Sgt. James Brown, guided Rivas when he took over at RS Frederick.

 “I am proud to see him continuing to learn and apply the training he is provided. I have mentored him since I put him through proficiency and review training,” said Brown. 

Rivas’s ability to learn, apply and teach has set him apart from his peers, and the award validates his work to date in RS Frederick’s recruiting environment. Maj. Paul B. Bock, the Commanding Officer of Recruiting Station Frederick, confirms how valuable Rivas’ knowledge and expertise are in this ever changing field.

“He truly understands the fluid operating environment inherent within systematic recruiting,” said Bock.  

Bock credits Rivas with developing an in depth training plan for RS Frederick which enabled all their Marines to more effectively complete their missions.  Additionally, his hard work and guidance in all areas of RS Frederick’s recruiting operations led to high quality applicants contracted resulting in a pool discharge percentage of just 11.3% and a 5.9% MCRD discharge percentage. 

 “Rivas is one of my most trusted advisers, and he truly enables our operations through his prowess in systematic recruiting operations and his superb leadership,” said Bock.

Rivas has two sons in the Marine Corps and continues to set the example of a role model and senior leader through his outstanding performance in the 4th Marine Corps District.


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