View Full Version : Marine Recruiters honored for excellence

10-30-03, 03:24 PM
Marine Recruiters honored for excellence
Submitted by: Marine Corps Recruiting Command
Story Identification Number: 20031029115952
Story by Sgt. Jimmie Perkins and Gunnery Sgt. James Edwards

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va.(October 18, 2003) -- The recipient of the 2003 Recruiter of The Year Award was announced at the Commandant of the Marine Corps' Combined Awards Ceremony, held here October 28. This year's Recruiter of the Year is Gunnery Sergeant John H. Choi, from Recruiting Station Orange, in Orange County, Calif.

In honor of this prestigious accomplishment, Choi was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and was meritoriously promoted to his current rank of Gunnery Sergeant.

"Staff Sergeant Choi's attainment of almost five net contracts per month over the course of a year is truly impressive," said Brigadier General John M. Paxton Jr., Commanding General, Western Recruiting Region, San Diego, Calif. "His mastery has set the standard within the 12th Marine Corps District and it would be hard to find a more zealous and capable spokesman for the Marine Corps."

For Choi, recruiting in one of the nation's wealthiest regions is challenging because many high school graduates consider college as their first option. Despite this obstacle, Choi maintained his focus, drive and determination to accomplish the mission. His ability to average five net contracts (enlistees) a month over the course of a year, along with very low levels of attrition from both the Delayed Entry Program and recruit training contributed to Choi?s selection as Recruiter of the Year.

"I'm flattered because there are so many recruiters out there throughout the country who are doing this on a daily basis," said Choi. "When you hear about recruiting duty before you go out there, you hear a lot of stories, but in reality when you go do it, it's just like anything else in the Marine Corps. You have a mission and you go out and accomplish it."

For this year's competition, one recruiter from each Marine Corps Recruiting District was nominated as a finalist to compete for the award. The other nominees were: Staff Sergeant Marco A. Cordero, Recruiting Station New York; Sergeant Antoine P. Strickland, Recruiting Station Cleveland; Staff Sergeant Andrew S. Edgett, Recruiting Station Atlanta; Staff Sergeant James D. Badders, Recruiting Station Denver; and Staff Sergeant Charles P. Berglund, Recruiting Station Chicago.

At the ceremony, each Recruiter of the Year nominee was honored and received a Navy Commendation Medal for their outstanding performance. The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sergeant Major John L. Estrada, was on hand to recognize the hard work of these Marines.

"You continue to give life to the Corps by sustaining it with new blood," said Estrada. "Without your vital efforts we would not have the best that our society has to offer within our ranks."

The Recruiter of the Year nominees are representatives of the successful work done by the overall Marine Corps recruiting force. In September 2003, the Marine Corps closed out on another successful year of making mission, contracting 39,102 young men and women. This exceeded its established goal of 36,405 enlistees by 3.5 percent. The Marine Corps has met its monthly contracting goal every month since July 1995.

"Month in and month out, Marine recruiting is a success story and the envy of the other services and that is due to the efforts of our recruiters," said Estrada.

Also during the ceremony, six other Marines serving in special duty assignments were honored and recognized. The 2003 Drill Instructors of the Year are Staff Sergeants Christopher R. Clark and Terrence C. Whitcomb; the 2003 Marine Combat Instructors of the Year are Sergeants Gary W. Triplett and Jesse G. Thompson; the 2003 Marine Security Guard of the Year is Sergeant Sean S. Roberts; and the 2003 Career Retention Specialist of the Year is Gunnery Sergeant Mark H. McKay.


Newly promoted Gunnery Sergeant John H. Choi, left, is congratulated by the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sergeant Major John L. Estrada during the Commandant of the Marine Corps' Combined Award Ceremony held in Quantico, Va. Choi was among 12 Marines who were honored for their efforts while serving in special duty assignments throughout the Corps. Photo by: Staff Sgt. Marc Ayalin