Millington, Tennessee - For many aspiring Sailors, the Navy journey doesn't begin with a call to a recruiter or a pamphlet from a guidance counselor at their high school. With constant advances in technology, many applicants start their path at the end of a keyboard.
Thanks to the highly dedicated cyberspace recruiting team at Navy Recruiting Command, qualified men and women are able to receive information about the Navy and start the initial phase of their recruitment process virtually.
Cyberspace recruiters, while physically located in Millington, Tennessee, are able to provide valuable support to NRC's overall mission by contacting interested applicants all around the world through the broad reach of the Internet.
"A cyberspace recruiter is the virtual ambassador to the public, and we serve as the bridge for information that a lot of people are interested in," said Information Systems Technician (Submarines) 2nd Class George Kory, cyberspace recruiter at NRC. "We are moving forward more into the 21st Century so everyone has a mobile device or tablet. They have access to all this information but sometimes you can't specifically find the right information, so being able to provide that expertise to them makes the process of recruiting a lot easier."
The bulk of the work done by cyberspace recruiters is done on http://www.navy.com/, a website for people interested in how to join the Navy. Through the website, prospective applicants are able to start an instant chat with a cyberspace recruiter.
From there, the cyberspace recruiter may conduct an initial basic interview, often called a blueprint, to ensure the applicant meets the Navy's base eligibility requirements. If the applicant meets requirements, such as level of education and height and weight standards, then the cyberspace recruiter passes on the information to a field recruiter near the applicant's hometown.
"The relationship between field recruiters and cyberspace recruiters is a mutually beneficial one," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Enes Gutierrez, cyberspace recruiter at NRC. "A lot of what field recruiters do is creating awareness of the Navy and its importance in the world. Those people they reach are often the ones we speak to on chat every day."
"While they might not be ready to talk to the field recruiters, they are ready to talk to us because they know there is no commitment," said Gutierrez. "From there, we screen them and ultimately get them back to the field recruiters. Overall, the field benefits us, we benefit them and we all benefit the Navy."
Due to the nature of their job, cyberspace recruiters can be called upon to work arduous hours; however, that does not mean the job is without its perks. In the case of Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Jhoana Simbul, NRC cyberspace recruiter, these perks make the job worthwhile.
"The best part about cyberspace recruiting is the people I work with," said Simbul. "Given the working hours and being at my second duty station, I could not ask for better support from my command. It's competitive here but we don't bring each other down; we push each other and challenge one another to be better. In a way, we all bring out the best in each other."
In fiscal year 2015, cyberspace recruiting received 66,756 chats, which generated 7,848 leads that ultimately produced 445 new Sailors.
In addition to the cyberspace recruiting unit, NRC consists of a command headquarters, two Navy Recruiting Regions and 26 Navy Recruiting Districts, which serve hundreds of recruiting stations across the country. The overall mission of NRC is to acquire America's best talent for the Navy by accessing high-quality Sailors and officers and achieve all recruiting goals.