AUGUST 5, 2019 – The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Adm. John Richardson, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), Russell Smith visited Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (CNRC) and Navy Personnel Command (NPC) at Naval Support Activity Mid-South, Aug 2.
Richardson and Smith started their visit at NPC by meeting with senior leaders and Sailors from the MyNavy HR team to thank them for their efforts in supplying quality customer service and expertly assisting Sailors in their careers during his tenure as CNO.
The two then met with Rear Adm. Brendan McLane, Commander Navy Recruiting Command (NRC), and area Navy recruiters for a luncheon at NRC where the group discussed some of the key points of recruiting for tomorrow’s fleet.
“We are growing to a 355-ship Navy,” said Richardson. “That is the Navy the Nation needs. We are building ships which are the bones of the Navy, but our people are the brains, muscle, and nerves that make the Navy a living organism. These ships require highly capable crews to meet the challenges of an evolving and advanced maritime domain.”
Recruiting command is working to meet a goal of 39,000 Future Sailors in fiscal year 2019 in support of the national initiative to build up America’s Navy. That begins by recruiting the Future Sailors who will eventually go on to lead the Navy of tomorrow.
“What you do,” said Richardson, “Is critical to the future of the Navy as our Fleet is changing with new technology and platforms that require a different kind of Sailor. As long as there are ships with people on them, we will need to recruit high quality talent that will give our Navy the edge to become a more agile maritime power.”
NRC’s transformation model directly supports Richardson’s Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, which was published in December. This innovative approach to recruiting converts Navy Recruiting Districts (NRDs) into streamlined Navy Talent Acquisition Groups (NTAGs) that compartmentalize recruiting responsibilities into Sales and Sourcing, Assessing and Onboarding sections. This model allows recruiters to be placed in jobs they excel at and reduces their workload to be more efficient.
During the CNO’s luncheon with recruiters, conversations focused on NRC transformation, cyber recruiting, and other initiatives surrounding the future of the Navy. The discussion fostered deck-plate insights into how effective modern recruiting tactics are playing out in real-life experiences.
“I never thought I would get to be in the room with the CNO, let alone talk about recruiting and our transformation,” said Fire Control Technician 1st Class Ricardo Munoz, assigned to Talent Acquisition Onboarding Center (TAOC), in Bartlett, Tennessee. “From start to finish, recruiters used to have to do it all when bringing someone into the Navy. Now that we are streamlined under transformation, we each do a specific part of the job so we really are an efficient team. That gives us more time for college, personal and professional development and overall being better at our job, which is manning the fleet.”
Another critical aspect of recruiting the next generation of Sailors where they spend much of their time — online. Richardson’s initiatives drive naval modernization and strengthening the Navy for the future. NRC parallels those efforts by reaching today’s digital generations, the millennials and centennials, who are best found through cyberspace recruiting.
“Being able to sit at the table and discuss the importance of cyber department with the CNO was amazing,” said Aviation Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Sarah Hindman, assigned to Navy Recruiting Command’s cyber recruiting department, in Millington, Tennessee. “This generation doesn’t want to be called on the phone or talk, but they want to chat online, communicate through Snapchat, Instagram and other social media. It’s no longer face-to-face or over-the-phone recruiting but we are meeting the millennials where they are … the digital marketplace.”
During a base-wide all-hands call that afternoon, the CNO discussed what he learned from his meeting with these recruiters and told a story about the importance of authentic community engagement.
“Today I spoke with recruiters about ‘Swarm’ events, which are one of the new ways that Navy Recruiting is engaging communities,” said Richardson. “They told me a story about a school event during a Swarm this year, where a young Sailor spoke at his old high school to an auditorium filled with students about his Navy experiences. It was very powerful and he really connected with them. This is a great example how how important it is for all of us to connect with our communities and tell our stories to educate them about our Navy and inspire Future Sailors to serve.”
Richardson wanted to make the trip to Millington as part of his farewell trip after 37 years of service to the Navy. He said it was important to thank Sailors for their efforts in supporting the Navy’s mission and the manpower that drives it.
Richardson became the 31st CNO Sept. 18, 2015, serving as the Navy’s most senior officer, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a principal advisor to the secretary of the Navy, secretary of defense and the president.
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 18 Navy Recruiting Districts and eight Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,330 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
Story by Chief Petty Officer Elijah Leinaar
Navy Recruiting Command