Part Three of Four
In November of 2000, at the age of 21, I was selected to participate in a trial of first term, E-4 recruiters. Previously, the minimum rank requirement was E-5 and candidates had served in at least two different commands. I became the youngest recruiter in Naval Recruiting District (NRD) New York. I had always wanted to see the Big Apple, but I always assumed it would be acting that got me there. So much for assumptions.
I wish I could say that my enjoyment of life continued in this transfer, but that would be a lie. Classified as Independent Duty, recruiting was more like Isolation Duty. I adored my recruiter, he was honest with me, told me the good and the bad. He did not try to push me into anything I did not want and he did not rush me into signing anything. He was a decent human being, and it was his example that I followed. Who could have guessed that it would get me in trouble? In recruiting, quota is king. People must be viewed as numbers – some people have higher number values (minority males); some have lower number values (females, regardless of race); some are bread and butter (white males) . Understanding the number’s and how to use them in your favor, that is the key to succeed in recruiting.
Now, I can’t say if it was due to idealism or whether I was just too fresh from the fleet, I did not feel comfortable putting a psychopath in my navy, and when ordered to do so, I refused. Disobeying a direct order from a superior officer is still one of the cardinal sins for military folk. But as a Chaplain I once knew said, “Sir, you may hold a higher rank than I do, but unless you are Christ or the God Almighty Himself, you are not superior.” I had enough wisdom not to repeat this when I was standing in front of my commanding officer. I was quietly hidden away at NRD Headquarters in Long Island while I awaited new orders.
One Tuesday morning, I watched a plane fly into a building. That’s enough about that.
More of Plan A
Part Three of Four