SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 – Just before the sun begins to kiss the sky, on a dark park trail, he shouts, “Go!” His voice bursts through the predawn silence and then a pounding of feet erupts as eight men use their legs and feet to beat the ground into submission and propel themselves faster down the dirt track. He shouts again at the men, “Keep pushing!”
Before the sun rises and while most people are barely waking up or beginning their morning routine, Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Jordan Martin is leading and coaching physical fitness training for future Sailors and special warfare candidates.
Martin is Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Phoenix’s lead warrior challenge recruiter. His job is to find the toughest, both mentally and physically, and most dedicated people to serve in the Navy’s special warfare programs. These programs are extremely tough and require a rigorous training process that most people can’t complete. Martin and the other warrior challenge recruiters find applicants to apply for aviation air rescue swimmer, special warfare combatant-craft crewmen, diver, explosive ordnance disposal or special warfare operator.
Martin is a native to Phoenix and joined the Navy in 2009. After eight years of sea duty, he returned to Phoenix when the opportunity to be recruiter in his hometown.
“It was great opportunity for me to provide stabilization for my wife and me to start our family,” said Martin. “Her whole family lives here, my whole family lives here, and it just seemed like the right time to come back home. My wife has almost completed her double master’s degree programs in nursing and business and then I’ll start my education back up.”
Martin is thankful that the move allowed him to spend more time with his father.
“It’s been fun being able to coach football with my dad,” said Martin. “My dad was my football coach from fifth grade until high school, and now I’m helping him coach and closing the gap of the different generations.”
Being a lifelong athlete is paying off, since now Martin begins training the special warfare candidates at 5 a.m.
“It shows dedication when they show up that early to work out,” said Martin. “Our training is tougher than what other future Sailors will go through while preparing for boot camp. We’re not just running. We incorporate swimming and heavy core exercise; their muscles are going to be burning by the end of the workout.”
Martin feels that what he’s doing is absolutely necessary for his future Sailors’ success in their Navy careers, so he doesn’t mind taking the extra time and putting in the effort.
“It’s not just about coaching them through the workouts, we also have to prepare them for boot camp and mentor them through the things they need to know before they ship out,” Martin said. “They have to make it through boot camp before they go to their special warfare training pipelines.”
Martin said he enjoys the interactions and time spent with the candidates.
“I enjoy getting to know them. They are all different and it’s been rewarding to see them grow and mature.”
Martin recalled one of his experiences as a recruiter. He was mentoring two Future Sailors from his high school, who he said reminded him of himself before he joined the Navy.
“The two knuckleheads is what I called them,” said Martin. “They were just having fun with everything and very confident in themselves, but weren’t supporting the team. I had to pull them aside and talk to them about being humble and about supporting the team efforts.”
Martin admitted the Navy needed to teach him those exact same lessons. He said he has grown and matured since joining.
“I use to be high strung and immature just trying to find my way,” he said. “The Navy provided me a structure and I began to grow and come into myself. I became a better person.”
Recently Martin received a meritorious promotion to first class petty officer.
“It made me feel very proud that people noticed how hard I’ve been working. Not everyone can get promoted this way and it felt great,” he said.
But in his learned humbleness, Martin gave most of the credit of his successes to the team, the six special warfare scouts and the special warfare coordinator.
Martin has been recruiting for two and half years and he said even though he is grateful for the time in his hometown and the recruiting experience, he is ready to see what else the Navy has in store for him.
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 17 Navy Recruiting Districts and nine 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 Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John P. Curtis, Navy Recruiting District Phoenix Public Affairs