Story by Joe Wax, Navy Recruiting Command Chicago Public Affairs


ROCKFORD, Ill. - Since Electronics Technician (Nuclear) 2nd Class David E. Anderson Jr. checked into Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Chicago nine months ago, he’s contracted 30 Future Sailors into the U.S. Navy’s Delayed Entry Program (DEP). That’s more than three a month, and well above expectations.

Anderson credits his early success to the environment in his recruiting station and his commitment to the people he puts into the Navy.

“I rely heavily on referrals from my Future Sailors,” he said. “If I do a really good job as a recruiter, the Future Sailors and their families send people to me. That’s why I take the DEP (Delayed Entry Program) mentorship so seriously. I have been getting two to three referrals for each Future Sailor I put in the Navy.”

Anderson is less than a third of the way into his recruiting tour, but he’s already gotten to see the results of his hard work.

“It’s great seeing them when they come back, (after graduating from Recruit Training Command), on RAP (Recruiting Assistance Leave Program) duty,” he said. “All of them, in one way or another, have been helped by the Navy.” 

RAP duty gives Sailors a chance to take a break after boot camp and return to their home of record on temporary recruiting duty. The program helps these new Sailors by sending them home and in turn recruiting stations get some extra help with their workload. 

Before he was the new star recruiter at NRD Chicago, Anderson began his Navy career in 2012. He joined out of his hometown of San Mateo, California; as a 24-year-old because he wanted to get into the nuclear power field, and he knew that the Navy was one of the best avenues to get there. 

“It’s safe, emission-free energy, and I believe that’s where the world is going,” he said. “Most of our civilian plants around the country are staffed with former Navy nukes [nuclear engineers].” 

Anderson didn’t know his Navy journey would take him to a recruiting station in Rockford, Illinois.

“I was on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as a reactor operator and the LPO [leading petty officer] of the nuclear propulsion plant local area network, when my parents moved to this area a few years ago,” he said. “I thought it would be cool to be close to them again after having lived in Virginia for a while.”

Even though he isn’t from Rockford originally, Anderson has adapted well to his new area and his new job.

“I like the ability to interact with the community in recruiting, and to see the difference we make in people’s lives,” he said. “It’s really cool to have a personal connection with people. This is also the first time I have been stationed somewhere not around a bunch of other nukes. It has been a unique experience to make friends from scratch.”

Anderson is only a couple of classes away from completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology at Thomas Edison State University. But even though he plans to take his talents to a civilian nuclear power plant after his recruiting tour is over, he says he will always cherish the memories he made and the ports he visited during his time in the Navy.

“My favorite was Marseilles, France,” he said. “I studied French in high school. Being able to go to a restaurant and order, and then have them respond in French was great. We got to eat at a restaurant with three Michelin stars. Also, my mom went to college in France, and I got to visit her old school. So it was an exciting opportunity all the way around.” 

The Navy’s recruiting force totals over 6,100 personnel in more than 1,000 recruiting stations around the globe. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.

NRC consists of a command headquarters, two Navy Recruiting Regions, 20 Navy Recruiting Districts and six Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations across the country.


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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)