MIAMI (NNS) - A total of 55 Recruiters from Navy Recruiting Command, Navy Recruiting Leadership Academy, Navy Recruiting District Miami and selected Recruiters of the Year, along with the Navy’s mobile virtual reality asset, the Nimitz, compiled a “Swarming Team,” that visited 12 high schools, three community outreach events and two Miami Heat v. Houston Rockets basketball games in a five-day rush to bring outreach to Miami Dec. 17-22.

The recruiters had a tight schedule and two primary goals. The first is to recruit Future Sailors and the second was to bring outreach to the Miami community. These goals go hand-in-hand teaching the community what the Navy’s mission is, why it’s important and what benefits come from joining the Navy.

“The Navy brings a lot of benefits and opportunities to people with the Post 9/11 G.I. bill for college, traveling the world, seeing different countries and excellent healthcare to name a few,” said Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Hilary A. Martin, assigned to Navy Recruiting District, Raleigh. “I’m a communications electrician and I work with some of the most advanced systems and equipment, which not only is exciting but helps prepare me for other jobs when I eventually get out of the Navy.”

Reaching a younger tech-savvy generation has become a standard for the recruiting enterprise, which uses virtual reality goggles, social media, and two mobile virtual reality trucks the Burke and the Nimitz. All of these give young adults a tech-familiar atmosphere where they can experience realistic Navy scenarios.

“The centennial generation have grown up with the internet and technology, so we appeal to them with things like virtual reality goggles where they get to see a 360-degree view on a carrier flight deck and more,” said Capt. Matthew Boren, Navy Recruiting Command’s chief marketing officer. “They want to see it, and we have the virtual reality truck where they can go on a virtual mission to extract a seal team. We are a technical Navy with some of the most high-tech combat systems in the world, so we need really well-trained and smart operators that have the skills to run those systems.”

Another element the Navy needs is a diverse pool of manpower that reflects America’s demographics in many ways. The Navy champions diversity as a strength, and it is something that comes into play when recruiting in locations like Miami.

“I immigrated from the Dominican Republic as a child and grew up in New York, so being in Miami is great because I speak Spanish and that helps a lot,” said Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Jonathan Urraca, Navy Recruiting District, Miami. “The Navy is a melting pot of cultures and different people, so it’s helped me adapt. Being Dominican helps me connect with the majority of culture in Miami and being able to talk to the parents in Spanish helps me explain how I made it in the Navy and their sons and daughters can be successful in the Navy too.”

Multilingual Sailors can be used in many situations for translating in the fleet, but recruiters in the Miami market say it is especially helpful with their job.

“Being a Columbian-American and being a woman helps in recruiting, because recently I was able to speak with a mother who didn’t understand much about the Navy, and getting through that language barrier really helped ease her concerns about the Navy,” said Master-At-Arms 3rd Class Lina Marcella-Arce, Navy Recruiting District, Miami. “The Navy allows me to be a strong Hispanic woman and accomplish what I need to on a day-to-day basis.”

“It’s a very multicultural market here and Navy makes a very strong effort to reflect the make-up of our society. That is part of what we are doing here in Miami,” said Boren. “The first Swarm has exceeded our expectations, but where the rubber meets the road is in four to five months where we can see if people’s interest turn into contracts.” 

The Navy plans on Swarming Orlando Florida next and will continue to hold Swarming operations in support of growing a 355-ship Navy in support of national policy.


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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)