SAN ANTONIO (NNS) -- Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Jalisa Green, a recruiter assigned to Navy Recruiting District San Antonio, shows that not shying away from hard work and responsibility does not go unnoticed.
Green, a Louisiana native, longed to travel and see the world beyond her hometown of Baton Rouge. She believed joining the Navy would give her that opportunity.
After enlisting in 2009, she was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, serving on USS Cowpens (CG-63) with follow-on assignments on USS Spruance (DDG-111) and USS William P. Lawrence (DDG-110).
"Working on a ship was challenging; it meant long hours, a lot of sweat, dirt, and wrench-cranking, but I loved it," explained Green.
Although her passion is to travel as much as possible, early in her career she knew 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," said Green.
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 skills.
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," said Green. "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 given the position of leading petty officer (LPO) for her division, a role that is traditionally given to a first class petty officer.
"Becoming a LPO was a tough experience. I had to make sacrifices in my personal life for my career," admits Green. "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 says 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 (DLCPO), and my first class petty officers," said Green. "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 lead to her meritorious advancement to first class petty officer through the Meritorious Advancement Program (MAP) on June 30.
Earning meritorious advancement was a huge milestone for Green, who says she was completely surprised by her selection.
"I honestly did not think it was an achievable goal for me," she explained. "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 (CRF) program. Green has chosen not to convert to CRF, instead hoping 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," Green said. "I have not traveled enough," she added.
Green says that 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," said Green.
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; I need to keep pushing," she admits. "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."
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