JULY 22, 2019 – For some people, it’s second nature to go above and beyond. This is exactly what Machinery Repairman 1st Class Justin Bacon, a recruiter assigned to Navy Recruiting District (NRD) St. Louis, wants to do every day he clocks into work.
Bacon was born and raised in McPherson, Kansas. He decided to join the Navy not far down the road out of Hutchinson, Kansas; a journey he started 13 years ago so he could venture out of the state.
“I joined the Navy because I wanted to experience life outside of Kansas,” said Bacon. “The Navy is good way to see the world and has allowed me to meet people who have become lifelong friends.”
And see the world he has. Bacon deployed aboard three different ships and has been stationed at two shore commands, but the Navy had a way of bringing him full circle. Now that Bacon is back in his home state as a recruiter, and the leading petty officer of Navy Recruiting Station Wichita-East, he plans to use his Fleet experiences and leadership to lead other Sailors and people interested in joining the Navy.
“I decided to go recruiting because I wanted to learn a new skill set and challenge myself and others,” said Bacon. “It’s something that was out of my comfort zone, but knowing that I’m guiding someone in the right direction has had a positive impact on me, and I’m glad I took that leap into the recruiting world. It’s been very rewarding.”
However, that’s not the only reward Bacon has received during his eight-month tenure as a recruiter. Since being assigned to NRD St. Louis, he has been in their Hall of the Fame for three separate months for writing more than four contracts in a month; Recruiter of the Month for May for being the district’s best recruiter that month; and the Skipper’s Dozen for writing more than 12 contracts in a three-month period.
According to Bacon, obtaining these awards and accolades can be a challenge, especially when he’s recruiting and overseeing a station at the same time.
“Recruiting is challenging duty, but I’m all about doing my job to the best of my ability no matter how stressful it can get,” said Bacon. “That’s part of the reason why I love what I do. I know I can do well and have a successful tour in the long run.”
Bacon plans to make his tour successful by not only leading and recruiting but by getting more qualifications and advancements.
“I have certain goals set for myself like everyone else,” said Bacon. “Those goals include being able to get qualified as high as I can go here and to be selected for chief petty officer.”
Even with all of his responsibilities at work, Bacon still makes time to be a family man.
“I mentioned goals earlier, and my number one goal is to try and be the best father and husband I can be,” said Bacon. “I have a beautiful wife, a daughter and a son, and one on the way. Yes, my job is important, but my family is the most important aspect of my life.”
He went to say that his house is like a zoo because everyone in his family loves and cares for animals.
“We have two dogs, two rabbits, a cat and whatever else the kids like to find and bring inside,” said Bacon. “They love all the little critters outside and think that they should all be part of the family.”
Bacon said his and his kids’ love for animals stems from his grandparents.
“I was raised here in Kansas by from grandparents who taught me the value of all life on earth,” said Bacon. “They also taught me to try and fix what’s broken and to love my country which is partly why I became a machinery repairman in the Navy in the first place.”
Excelling at work and family life is something that comes naturally to Bacon.
“What it comes down to is that I do the best I can, and I try to help out as much as I can,” said Bacon. “All-in-all, I’m a truly blessed person. I have so much to be thankful for.”
NRD St. Louis’ area of responsibility covers more than 200,000 square miles, encompassing Missouri, Kansas, central and southern Illinois, and a portion of Kentucky. More than 200 officers, enlisted personnel and civilian staff operate 30 recruiting stations, two Navy Officer Recruiting Stations and the headquarters in St. Louis. Additionally, two Military Entrance Processing Stations; one at the headquarters in St. Louis and one in Kansas City, Missouri, handle applicants’ processing, classification, and physical examinations.
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 1,300 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, go to http://www.cnrc.navy.mil. Follow Navy Recruiting on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NavyRecruiting), Twitter (@USNRecruiter) and Instagram (@USNRecruiter).
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Williamson
Navy Recruiting Command