JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Dec. 11, 2017 — A recruiter assigned to Navy Recruiting District San Antonio has proved that refusing to shy away from hard work and responsibility does not go unnoticed.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jalisa Green, a gas turbine system technician, said she longed to travel and see the world beyond her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and that joining the Navy would give her that opportunity.
After enlisting in 2009, she was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, serving on the guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens, with follow-on assignments on the guided missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS William P. Lawrence.
“Working on a ship was challenging. It meant long hours, a lot of sweat, dirt and wrench cranking, but I loved it,” Green said.
Although her passion is to travel as much as possible, she said, early in her career she knew that one day she would transition to shore duty as a recruiter.
“I had a great recruiter, who has been a positive influence from Day One in my decision to become a recruiter, and continues to support me throughout my career,” Green said.
Ambassadors in Their Communities
Recruiters are representatives of America’s Navy and act as ambassadors in their communities. To become one requires previous experience in the Navy or other branch of the military, an outgoing personality, creativity, initiative and strong organizational and time-management skills, among other qualities. For some sailors, transitioning from the fleet to recruiting can be challenging — many find it difficult adapting to office work after spending time in more operational rates on a ship.
“For me, the biggest difference was all the paperwork,” Green said. “But the long hours and dedication you have to put in are the same. Ship life had already groomed me for that.”
Green has proven her strength and ability to adapt within the recruiting world. As a second class petty officer, she was named her division’s leading petty officer, or LPO — a role traditionally filled by a petty officer first class.
“Becoming an LPO was a tough experience. I had to make sacrifices in my personal life for my career,” Green said. “It was hard, at first, to find that balance and to remember to take care of myself and make time for other goals, like college.”
Green said she finds strength through her many mentors in the recruiting community, as well as through her family. “I reach out often to my chief, division leading chief petty officer and my first class petty officers,” she said. “They all encourage me to never back down and to always strive for more from myself and my recruiters.”
Green’s grit and strong work ethic made her a standout sailor within the recruiting community and led to her meritorious advancement to petty officer first class through the Meritorious Advancement Program on June 30. Earning meritorious advancement was a huge milestone for Green, who said she was completely surprised by her selection.
“I honestly did not think it was an achievable goal for me,” she added. “It is hard to be competitive within your rate as a recruiter, so I did not think it would happen.”
Successful recruiters can apply for reclassification under the Navy’s Career Recruiting Force program. Green has chosen instead to one day return to the fleet.
“As much as I have enjoyed recruiting, shore duty has reminded me of why I joined the Navy in the first place, which was to travel and do something different,” she said. I have not traveled enough.”
Green said making first class has not been a big change for her. “Serving as the LPO for my division as a second class made me already think like a first class, so this advancement is only the beginning and makes me want to work harder to achieve my goals,” she explained.
Those goals, Green said, are to eventually finish college and make chief petty officer or become a commissioned officer. “I am thankful for this opportunity, but personally it is not enough,” she added. “I need to keep pushing. I also need to humble myself and remember all the recruiters and chiefs who have gone before me and to those whom have given me guidance to get me where I am today. I wouldn’t be here without their help.”