Photo Information

Staff Sgt. Robert Harvell, a canvassing recruiter with Recruiting Substation Pensacola, Florida, Aug. 8, 2020, works each day to guide young men and women in their pursuit of becoming Marines. RS Montgomery is responsible for finding and preparing young men and women for the rigors of recruit training aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jorge A. Rosales)

Photo by Sgt. Jorge Rosales

Georgia native, Marine offers career opportunities during COVID

14 Aug 2020 | Sgt. Jorge Rosales 6th Marine Corps District

As schools and businesses scramble to adapt to the COVID pandemic, high school upperclassmen approach a less certain immediate future than recent graduating classes. Staff Sgt. Robert Harvell sees some parallels between their current outlook and his future outlook when he graduated.

Harvell joined the Marine Corps four years after graduating from Woodland High School in Cartersville, Georgia, in 2007. He had always had an interest in the Marines, but lacked clarity about his goals.

“I was waiting on a handout that was never going to come without putting something into action to work toward my goals,” he said.

Harvell cast about between college and menial labor for a few years. After attending one semester of college while working at a fast food restaurant, he transitioned to working full full-time, including frequent night shifts, at a carpet manufacturing business. He eventually had an epiphany about joining the Marine Corps.

“One thing I didn’t want was to wake up and be 35 years old, and to not have had the opportunity,” he said.

In 2011, he finally made the decision to enlist. Upon graduation graduation from basic training, he earned the primary military occupational specialty of 0621 field radio operator. He had no previous experience in the field before enlisting, but was provided the schooling and the knowledge by the Marine Corps to succeed in his occupation.

“I am a very hands-on type of person,” said Harvell. “Being able to be the one person responsible with ensuring our communication systems are working is critical.”

After successful duty tours in Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Harvell became a Marine Corps recruiter. Harvell is now responsible for assisting people with their dreams of becoming U.S. Marines.

“I enjoy the time that is spent working with the young men and women who decide to enlist,” said Harvell. “The best part is watching them come back from recruit training as Marines and thanking me for helping them achieve something they may have not thought they were able to do.”

Harvell works out of Recruiting Substation Pensacola and is one of 45 canvassing recruiters at Recruiting Station Montgomery. RS Montgomery is responsible for finding quality young men and women and preparing them for transformative training held at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

“Our main focus as Marine Corps recruiters is to help set you up for success for the long term,” said Harvell. “We are here to assist you to achieve your goals in life.”

For more information about RSS Pensacola or recruiting operations at RS Montgomery, please contact Cpl. Terry D. Haynes, the marketing and communication chief at

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