Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jose Madrigal, Navy Recruiting Command


SEATTLE (NNS)There is a saying among some rugby players that “Rugby is like war – easy to start, difficult to stop and impossible to forget.” According to one U.S. Navy Sailor who grew up playing the sport, the saying resonates within his core.

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel) 2nd Class Mihlayothabo Moyo, a Seattle native who is currently serving as a recruiter at Naval Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Pacific Northwest (PNW), volunteers as a youth rugby coach in his hometown of Seattle.

“Being of South African parents, rugby has always played a huge part of my life.” Said Moyo. “They told me that this one game was able to bring a country together.”

Moyo’s parents were referencing South Africa’s world cup win when the country hosted the tournament in 1995, a few years after the end of the apartheid. Moyo has taken the lessons he has learned from the game he loves, and applies them to his life.

“The game of rugby teaches people teamwork, respect, discipline and sportsmanship,” said Moyo. “These values are what made me who I am today and also made my transition into the military easier as the Navy core values align with the game I love.”

Aside from enjoying playing the game of rugby himself, Moyo takes great pleasure in sharing his talents and values with his community. Moyo volunteers his time and coaches boys and girls at the Liberty Rugby Club in Seattle.

“Giving back to the community is not just about the sport, but it is to help the younger generation be better human beings and to have a strong foundation of core values,” said Moyo. “I want them to know that no matter what life throws at you, you will always have your family, teammates and coaches that have your back. Just like it is in rugby, it's the same thing in the Navy.”

Moyo instills what he’s learned from rugby and infuses it with what he’s learned from the Navy and applies it to his coaching. The end result is a rewarding feeling that Moyo can’t get enough of.

“Seeing the kids smile and enjoying the game is the most rewarding thing about coaching,” said Moyo. “Even more rewarding is knowing that I’m helping build better human beings, who will hopefully later down the line, do the same in service to the country or their community or even just to all those around them, just like I was influenced by my coaches when I was younger.”

In addition to sharing what the game of rugby has taught him, Moyo also shares his personal experiences. As a member of the All Navy Rugby team, Moyo shared his insights of the All Navy sports teams. While at practices and games, Moyo likes to wear his Navy rugby gear to spark interest with some of the players.
“A lot of people don't know that the armed forces have sports teams they can try out for,” said Moyo. “When I go coaching, I’ll wear my all Navy rugby gear and that's usually a conversation starter as a lot kids will walk up to me and ask about the cool gear I have on.”

Moyo uses these opportunities to explain that the Navy has more to offer than people assume. Sharing his personal story with his community has become an essential tool in Moyo’s recruiting box

“I like that I get to give back to the Seattle community, but I really enjoy showing them that people in the Navy also have normal lives outside of work,” said Moyo.

Acknowledging the fact that this has been a challenging time for recruiting, Moyo has not let this affect him as he has maintained a positive and conducive work environment in Seattle. He encourages his fellow recruiters to step out of their comfort zone and see what works for them.

“Just like in any team sport, everyone has their own position and strengths, but one goal in mind,” said Moyo. “It’s the same in recruiting. We have a good team that plays to each individual’s strengths, and when we do that, nothing is impossible.”

As a testament to his individual and team successes Moyo has received numerous awards and accolades since arriving to NTAG PNW in April of 2019. Moyo has been awarded three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Talent Scout of the Quarter, three Tribal Planks, two Sasquatch awards, which reflect his consistent wins.

Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, and 26 NTAGs that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.


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Updated November 20, 2020 (kbh)