Florida The Marine Corps Recruiting Command augmented
by members of the 6th Marine Corps District and Recruiting Station
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., joined members of the National Council of
La Raza for their 24th Annual Convention in Miami
held July 19-23, 2002.
largest gathering of its kind in the United States, NCLR brings
together more than15,000 participants from across the country to
discuss issues affecting the nation's 35 million Latinos. The five-day
event at the Miami Beach Convention Center is the leading source
on the current status of Hispanic America, according to an NCLR
by Staff Sergeant Demetrio J. Espinosa
Yzaguirre, President of the National Council of La Raza, shakes
hands with Capt. Daniel H. Coleman, Programs Liaison Officer,
Manpower, Equal Opportunity Office. Yzaguirre took time to meet
Marines at the Marine booth during the NCLR's national conference.
(Click on photo for resolution image)
Marines attended the event in order to enhance the positive image
of the Marine Corps by further developing the Marine Corps' relationship
with the Nation's premier Hispanic American advocacy organization.
To attract influencers and the Corps' target recruiting market,
the Marines employed the Hummer, Chin-Up Challenge, the inflatable
drill instructor, inflatable obstacle course and an information
"The Marine Corps sponsors the NCLR because of the desire to
showcase its commitment to diversity. Through the influential leaders
of La Raza, the Marine Corps is able to reach young Hispanics who
otherwise would not have the chance to come in contact with a recruiter,"
said Capt. Cornell Payne, recruiter support officer, Marine Corps
Recruiting Command. Currently there are approximately 50,000 Hispanics
serving in the Marine Corps.
The Marines also used their presence at the convention as a venue
to inform a difficult to reach market segment about opportunities
in the Marine Corps.
"...It (La Raza Conference) provided a chance for the key influencers
from across the country to learn more about the opportunities in
the Marine Corps. There were a number of parents who came to ask
about how they can get their children in the Marine Corps,"
explained Gunnery Sgt. Jose J. Feliu, Officer Selection Office Assistant
from OSO Miami.
Ultimately, the Marine Corps' goal was to influence people to join
the Corps. The efforts of all Marines who attended the conference
contributed to the Corps' success at the conference.
"It (NCLR conference) was good exposure to the Hispanic community.
The Marine Corps' presence let the people distinguish and recognize
the Marines from the other military services," said Feliu.