Virginia Guard recruiters recognized for excellence in recruiting

 

Virginia Guard recruiters pose with senior leaders after being awarded and recognized for excellence in their recruiting endeavors April 18, 2013, in Sandston, Va. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Virginia Guard recruiters pose with senior leaders after being awarded and recognized for excellence in their recruiting endeavors April 18, 2013, in Sandston, Va. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

SANDSTON, Va. — Six Virginia National Guard recruiters received recognition for excellence in recruiting April 18, 2013, at the Mullins Armory in Sandston, Va. Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, presented four of the recruiters with the Chief’s 54 award and two of the recruiters with the Expert Seven award.

“They earned it – they worked hard,” said Maj. Walter Patrick, recruiting and retention battalion commander.

The Chief’s 54 Award recognizes the recruiting and retention non-commissioned officer, or RRNCO, whose strength maintenance skills, knowledge, abilities and soldiering have resulted in being selected as the top RRNCO for his or her state, territory or district. The award includes a Meritorious Service Medal, a plaque and a Chief’s 54 ring.

Sgt. Major Christopher Brock, acting command sergeant major for Virginia’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion, said they look for a recruiter who embodies the “total Soldier concept,” one who excels not only in the recruiting field, but also as a Soldier.

Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Koptchak was presented with the award for 2008, Sgt. 1st Class Lemuel Webb for 2010, Sgt. 1st Class William Bart for 2011, and Sgt. 1st Class Mark Williams for 2009 and 2012. Koptchak and Webb were also selected as the top recruiters for their seven-state region in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

“It’s a very competitive environment,” said Patrick. “When their peers see what it takes to achieve this and to be recognized at this level it encourages them to perform at that level as well.”

The Expert Seven Award recognizes the top noncommissioned officers in charge of the seven recruiting area region commands across the country. Virginia has six recruiting areas with a supervisory NCOIC in each area. Once selected as the best in the state, the winner competes against the top NCOIC’s from the other states in their region. The winner from each recruiting area region is then awarded the Expert Seven award. First Sgt. Robert Bennett was presented with the award for 2008 and 2010, and was the first Virginia recruiter to receive the award, and Master Sgt. Tommy Hackney received the award for 2011.

There are more than 7,500 Soldiers in the Virginia Army National Guard, each who had their careers started by recruiters.

“A simple thank you goes a long way,” said Sgt. Maj. Karl Spicer, Recruiting and Retention Battalion sergeant major. “Being recognized by the top person in the state of Virginia is number one in our book, and they really appreciate it.”

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Photos: Virginia Guard recruiters recognized for excellence in recruiting