Recruiters Capped for Outstanding Work

Story Number: NNS071024-23Release Date: 10/24/2007 9:30:00 PM
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From Commander, Navy Recruiting Command Public Affairs

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Navy recruiters have enjoyed the benefit of updated advancement instruction on Aug. 10, 2007.

Rear Adm. Joseph F. Kilkenny, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (CNRC) has signed into action a revamped advancement instruction, the Recruiting Command Advancement Program (RCAP), which makes it easier for top-performing recruiters to be rewarded with a promotion.

The new RCAP is the product of a process improvement initiative conducted by CNRC staffers and facilitated by BearingPoint, a management technology consulting firm. Kilkenny introduced the instruction by "capping" Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Pittsburgh's Fire Controlman 1st Class (SS) Lance Brownfield while in Millington during a recent change of office ceremony.

Brownfield, NRD Pittsburgh's Rookie Recruiter of the Year for both active and reserve in 2006, had no idea he was being promoted.

"My chief recruiter told me I was going to give some training and brief a couple of admirals," said Brownfield. "I was really surprised by the advancement. I was so nervous when they called my name to come up to the stage. When I got up there, all I saw in the audience was anchors and stars. I didn't know who was pinning me. Somebody had to tell me later it was Adm. Kilkenny."

The RCAP replaces the Recruiter Excellence Incentive Program (REIP) and is designed to simplify requirements needed to earn advancement opportunities while eliminating inequities between active duty recruiters and reserve full-time support recruiters, known as Canvasser Recruiters, or CANRECs.

"Most people didn't even know what REIP stood for, so changing the name to RCAP made sense," said Kilkenny. "And there were too many inequities and loopholes in the old instruction, and it was difficult for people to understand."

The inequities referred to by Kilkenny stemmed from the number of advancement opportunities available to active recruiters as opposed to those available for CANRECs under the REIP.

"Previously I could only promote six reserve recruiters, but now I can promote up to 26," Kilkenny said. "Despite what people may think, that number is not based on the number of recruiting districts. I'm going to pick the top 26 and promote them. I have to wipe out any feelings of disparity between active and reserve recruiters and make sure the reserve recruiters feel promotion opportunities are equitable to both groups," said Kilkenny.

The instruction now allows a recruiting district to earn Command Advancement Program (CAP) opportunities up to 4 percent of the district's manning. NRDs automatically receive CAPs equal to 2 percent of manning and can earn up to an additional 2 percent based on achieving production benchmarks.

"What drove me to update the instruction is the fact that you need a motivated workforce," Kilkenny explained. "The reality is that you can give people money and medals, but the primary motivators are promotion and recognition."

Kilkenny was also concerned with eliminating market biases in the new instruction.

"A recruiter in a fleet concentration area like San Diego will probably put in more new Sailors than a recruiter in a rural area in the Midwest, but they're both working as hard as they can," Kilkenny said. "What RCAP is saying to my recruiters is, 'I can't guarantee all of you will win the lottery, but if you work hard, I can guarantee you'll have a lottery ticket.' That's the impetus for this new instruction."

Navy Recruiting's RCAP is the only advancement incentive program of its kind to be offered by a shore command. Kilkenny said this is because recruiting calls for men and women to work outside of their ratings in stressful conditions. Improving the odds of promotion for a recruiter will likely have a positive effect on how fleet Sailors and current recruiters view recruiting duty.

"If I can promote someone, that Sailor will not only become a better recruiter, but a better salesman for the recruiter force. When the Sailor goes back to the fleet, he or she will tell other fleet Sailors, 'Look, I worked hard while I was recruiting, but I was rewarded for it.' And I can promise this: if I have an opportunity to promote somebody, and they deserve to be promoted, then...I'm going to promote them."

The new RCAP has two main objectives: to encourage good recruiters to stay in recruiting and to attract high-quality fleet and reserve Sailors who might enjoy a new challenge. The first beneficiary of RCAP, Brownfield, resulted in a "check in the box" for the first objective.

"My dad's a retired Navy chief, and he has his anchors sitting on his mantle to motivate me, just waiting to pin them on me," said Brownfield. "A long time ago he put them away, when he didn't think I was going to make chief. But now, after the CAP, he's put them back on the mantle."

Brownfield said he intends to submit a package to join Navy Recruiting's Career Recruiting Force, or CRF. The CRF was created to develop a cadre of exceptional recruiters and managers in order to lend consistency and leadership to the recruiting effort.

"Hopefully I'll pick up Zone Supervisor (Zone Sup), then pick up chief. Hopefully, I'll retire as a master chief," Brownfield said.

While Kilkenny hopes RCAP creates interest among fleet and reserve Sailors, he's not solely relying on the new instruction to attract new recruiters. Despite the ongoing overseas conflicts, low unemployment and increased recruiting competition from other services, Kilkenny believes today's Sailors aren't likely to be deterred.

"Based on my 30 years in the Navy, I believe the vast majority of young Sailors are seeking new challenges," said Kilkenny. "They will certainly receive that challenge in recruiting. But the real reason they ought to come to recruiting is because the future of the Navy depends on us putting in the most talented people that will be operating the sophisticated equipment we're building right now. Recruiting is probably the most important job a Sailor can do, yet it's not the most glamorous, and it's not recognized as being as challenging," he added.

"I want people to know that this job is probably the most challenging and most meaningful job in the Navy, and can be the most rewarding."

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