By Journalist 2nd Class Chris Conklin, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, TN -- September 30 marked the end of another successful recruiting year for the U.S. Navy, and the 26th consecutive month that the sea services recruiting force attained its national mission goals for accessions and new contracts.
Navy Recruiting Command accessed 41,076 recruits in fiscal year 2003, with a national enlisted goal of 41,165, which allowed a range of +25/-100.
"Navy Recruiting's success over the past year can be attributed directly to the hard work and dedication of the entire Navy Recruiting team, said Rear Adm. Jeffrey L. Fowler, commander, Navy Recruiting Command. I am proud to lead such an energetic, professional group of men and women who work daily to find the highly skilled recruits needed to man the Navy's ever-evolving, high-tech platforms. Recruiters truly are shaping the Navy of the future, as they recruit the best and brightest young men and women to serve in the world's greatest Navy, he said.
The buzz of Navy Recruitings success echoes through its ranks, even to some of its newest recruiters in the field. Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SS) Jason Rubenstein of Overland Park, Kan., has been in recruiting for only six months, but is excited about his opportunity to be part of its success.
I think its great. Its been great so far to see what we do in the field, said Rubenstein. Its good to be a part of something so big. I look forward to returning to the fleet and seeing firsthand the product that I helped to create.
The Navy began FY03 with a national enlisted accession goal of 48,000. This goal was cut by nearly 7,000 throughout the year due to unprecedented retention rates of active-duty Sailors, reductions in attrition and sustained achievement of monthly recruiting goals. Navy Recruiting took advantage of this goal cut to concentrate on specific needs of the fleet and increasing the quality of Sailors in the fleet, by implementing tactics that would bring a more well-rounded Sailor to its ranks.
Earlier this year, Navy Recruiting Command raised the minimum Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) score of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery from 31 to 35. During FY03, the Navy implemented a policy requiring 94 percent of new recruits be high school diploma graduates (HSDG), and Navy recruiters succeeded by recruiting 94.3 percent HSDG; the Department of Defense requirement is 90 percent. Navy Recruiting continued to seek the best and brightest young men and women by requiring that 62 percent of recruits score above 50 on the AFQT; Navy recruiters excelled with a rate of 65.7 percent for FY03, while the DoD goal was 60 percent.
Navy recruiting also sought to increase the number of recruits with college experience in FY03, recruiting more than 3,200 applicants with at least 12 semester hours of college. Navy recruiters continued to fill jobs that have experienced manning shortfalls in the fleet, by dramatically reducing the number of priority ratings from 39 to just six by the end of the fiscal year.
Although the changes make the job more challenging to recruiters, it helps to focus on specific needs of the Navy and ensure that recruits are the best qualified to succeed in todays highly technical Navy. Its a bit easier when we have in mind what the Navy needs, said Navy Counselor 1st Class Susan Smith of Navy Recruiting Station Savannah, Ga., a recruiter for five years.
Navy Recruiting Command was also successful in Naval Reserve recruiting by exceeding the enlisted goal of 12,000 recruits for FY03.
Navy Recruiting enters FY04 with a national active-duty enlisted goal of 41,200.