Pentagon Honors Recruiters of the Year
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 3, 2000 Twelve military recruiters, six family members, top Pentagon officials and guests listened as Deputy Defense Secretary Rudy de Leon praised the Recruiters of the Year for excelling in "one of our greatest military challenges."
"The men and women we honor today face the toughest of tasks every day -- providing our nation with soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to protect America's interests and ideals around the world," said de Leon. He noted that the mission of America's armed forces from Kosovo to Korea, and the peace, security and prosperity of the nation, would be impossible without the hard work of America's outstanding corps of recruiters.
De Leon said the military needs quality recruits because of the military's increasing reliance on sophisticated technologies, and because service members are asked to be warriors, diplomats and engineers.
De Leon said recruiting is "one of the most challenging missions in the armed forces today." He said the mission becomes harder with every drop in unemployment and every rise in wages in America's "red hot economy."
"But despite the enormity of the challenge of recruiting, nearly 30,000 young people every month, America's recruiters have demonstrated that they're up to this job," de Leon said. "That's why we are supporting our recruiters with increased enlistment bonuses and educational benefits and by a major rise in recruiting advertising over the last year."
De Leon said the 12 recruiters the Pentagon honored this year "are the best of the best" in their daily labor of keeping America's armed forces robust and ready. "They stand for the more than 20,000 active duty, National Guard and reserve recruiters who deliver the message of military service opportunities to the American people every day," he noted.
"Representing each service … these men and women were chosen because they have excelled beyond their peers in a very tough and challenging business," de Leon said.
This year's Recruiters of the Year were:
Army Staff Sgt. Feliece Y. Cortez of the Anderson, Ind., recruiting station; Army Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Green, assigned to the Los Angeles recruiting station; Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Martin Colon of the Elizabeth, N.J., recruiting station; Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Larry M. Lipson of the Milwaukee, Wis., recruiting station; and Air Force Master Sgt. David C. Anderson who is assigned to the Aiea, Hawaii, recruiting station.
Also: Air Force Master Sgt. Rowena Reitan of the San Antonio, Texas, recruiting station; Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Alain Reyes who is assigned to the Dupage South, Ill., recruiting station; Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darrell Holmes of the Seal Beach, Calif., recruiting station; Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Isabel S. Caporale who is assigned to the Newark, N.J., recruiting station; Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Gregory J. Satchwell of the Tampa, Fla., recruiting station; Air National Guard Master Sgt. Karen Y. Hunter, assigned to the Oklahoma City, Okla., recruiting station; and Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class David M. Fulkerson of the Evansville, Ind., recruiting station.
Before the recognition ceremony, the 12 recruiters and a spouse representative participated in an hour-long round- table discussion on issues affecting recruiting. Led by de Leon, the roundtable discussion included Charles L. Cragin, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs; Alphonso Maldon Jr., assistant secretary of defense for force management policy; Navy Vice Adm. Patricia A. Tracey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military personnel policy; and service secretaries or their representatives.