MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Four Marines currently assigned to recruiting duty were honored for their exceptional efforts in exceeding their recruiting missions during fiscal year 2018 at the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ 2019 Combined Awards Program ceremony aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, January 11, 2019.
The annual awards program recognizes top-performing Marines serving in special duty assignments (SDA) such as Marine Security Guard, drill instructor duty, and recruiting duty. The program also honors the unit with the highest physical fitness test and combat fitness test scores. Four Marine recruiters were awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for their superior achievements.
“Our SDA Marines carry with them the public face and the outstanding reputation of the Marine Corps,” said Gen. Gary Thomas, the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. “Without the steadfast efforts of our Marines on special duty assignments, we would not be as successful of a fighting force as we are today.” Thomas credited each Marine serving on SDAs as having gained immense value through hard work. “These awards represent a history of sustained performance that goes above and beyond your already highly-screened and selected peers and is a true testament to your SDA communities. Each of you are an example of the excellence for our Marines to emulate, and I’m very proud of each one of you and your hard work.”
The top Marines currently serving on recruiting duty were awarded to Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Hughes, Gunnery Sgt. Tyler Jennings, Gunnery Sgt. Grant Brawn, and Gunnery Sgt. Terrell Pryor. These four Marines were hand-selected out of 3,763 Marines serving in one of the Corps’ notoriously challenging non-combat duties — finding the next generation of highly qualified applicants to become United States Marines. Working upward of 60 hours a week, Marine recruiters ensure that the Marine Corps attains its total force requirements.
“I view leadership as making those around you better and driving them to be successful, because my success and theirs all directly correlate with each other,” said Hughes, who was recognized as the Recruiting Sub-Station Staff Non-Commissioned in Charge of the year.
Hughes, who is in charge of Recruiting Sub-Station Jefferson City, Missouri, took over the office when it was undermanned and failing. With an all-new recruiting staff, Hughes said he focused on teaching his recruiters better sales techniques, helping them set objectives and gain commitments from their applicants. Over the past year, he shipped 108.2% of his assigned recruiting mission, 92.4% of whom scored in the top tier of the Armed Forces Qualification Test, which is used to determine if a person is mentally eligible to serve in the armed forces.
Jennings, who was recognized as the Recruiter of the Year out of Recruiting Station Forth Worth, enlisted 46 applicants into the Marine Corps. He credits his success to a positive mental attitude.
“Remember your ‘why’ [purpose], and help others to fulfill their ‘why’ in life,” Jennings said. “When we have a ‘why,’ we have a purpose to go out there on a daily basis to change lives.”
Through mentorship, supervision and big-picture management, Brawn, who was recognized Prior Service Recruiting RSS SNCOIC out of Camp Lejeune, NC, led his Marines to recruit more than 280 applicants in one year — 30 more than the required mission. This led to the meritorious promotion of one of his Marines to gunnery sergeant and Brawn and several of his Marines earning various other awards as well.
Pryor, the Prior Service Recruiter of the Year out of San Diego, recruited approximately 70 Marines back into active service. Pryor said he refined his physical fitness, time management skills, discipline, and sales skills during his time as a prior service recruiter. Pryor credits the Marines he leads with being selected for this award.