HARRISBURG, Pa. --
New recruiters spend their first month learning the ropes, visiting schools and taking in as much as they can before the daunting task ahead of them … recruiting highly qualified future Marines.
For many it can be a struggle, but Recruiting Station Harrisburg’s latest recruiter embraces the challenge ahead.
Sgt. Trevin G. Smith, Recruiting Substation Lancaster’s newest canvassing recruiter, mastered the most important skill a recruiter can have long before hitting the streets of Pennsylvania.
He isn’t just a people person.
He is genuinely likeable and easy to get along with.
“He’s very approachable, up-beat, positive and eager to learn,” said Sgt. Ryan Harrington, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of RSS Lancaster.
“He’s extremely easy to get along with and you can relate to him.
I can see an applicant looking at him and saying ‘I want to be like Sgt. Smith.’”
He approaches people as if he’s known them his whole life.
Animated and equipped with a great sense of humor the 24-year-old St. Augustine, Fla., native puts anyone he meets at ease.
“What I really love about recruiting is I see all of these young men and women who really don’t have any goals or direction and then getting to help them,” Smith said.
“Whether it’s in the Marine Corps or not, I want to make an impact in the community around me and help out as many people as I can.”
Although he’s only been on station for less than two months, Smith has already impressed many of his superiors.
“The first time we went down to one of his schools I was introducing him to all of the staff and I walked out of the room for about five minutes,” Harrington said.
“When I came back, they were all laughing and telling stories.
Smith was very animated, he had a big smile on his face and all of the teachers were laughing and were really relaxed.”
Born into a family with a military tradition, Smith attended recruit training at Marine Recruit Training Depot Parris Island, S.C., on July 10, 2006.
“I came from a big military background,” he said.
“My family has a lot of Army and Navy veterans.
I’m the first Marine and when I joined, knowing that the Marines are the best, I decided if I was going to do it, I was going to do it right.
I wanted to be a part of the most elite and I wanted to earn it.”
After graduating from Marine Combat Training, Smith reported to Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., where he learned to be a helicopter mechanic.
He was later station at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 until January 2008.
Smith was then assigned as a combat marksmanship coach.
As a coach, he spent a year and a half training, instructing and qualifying Marines on the rifle and pistol range before returning to HMH-465 for another year.
He was then attached to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 for duty with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
It was there were his people skills were put to the test.
As a newly promoted sergeant, smith served as a squad leader with more than 50 Marines under his charge during his deployment to the Horn of Africa, from Feb. 22 to Sept. 30, 2011.
“This was the first time as a sergeant that I was in a position to lead,” Smith said.
“It was awesome because I got to work with grunts, artillery, air wing, admin, you name it.
I got to see how all the pieces of the Marine Corps work together.
It was awesome.
The best part was getting to be hands on and making sure they had the best training possible and they were getting the job done.”
After his deployment, Smith remained with HMH-465 until September 2012.
He then reported to the Basic Recruiters Course and eventually to his current assignment, but his time with the Marine at HMH-465 left a lasting impression.
“When I met Sgt. Smith he was my phase crew supervisor and what I noticed the most was how he delegated the tasks I gave him,” said Gunnery Sgt. Armando Gomez-Canada, the maintenance control chief for HMH-465.
“Instead of telling the Marines, ‘Hey do this,’ his approach was more, ‘We are going to do this and this is how it’s going to affect the mission.’
He was very charismatic and helped paint the big picture for his Marines.”
Despite his natural tendency to put people at ease, Smith has already experienced a few of the hurdles all recruiters go through.
He’s determined to push forward and maybe change some peoples’ minds along the way.
“The hardest part about recruiting is dealing with rejection,” he said.
“A lot of the time we get portrayed as bad people on the news and unfortunately it seems like they only report the bad stuff, never the good stuff.
“I understand what they see.
Is it really what the Marine Corps is about?
I want to show them that Marines are not just warriors and that we actually care about our community and want to help out as much as we can.”