BALDWINSVILLE, NY – Future Sailor Luis Garcia, an 18-year-old graduate of C.W. Baker High School in Baldwinsville, N.Y., joined the Navy after contacting Steel City Navy Gamers, an online gaming group created and operated by U.S. Navy recruiters assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Pittsburgh.

Garcia’s personal hobbies include wood-working and playing baseball. He is currently in the Delayed Entry Program will become a Machinist’s Mate in the Navy.

“I look forward to the experience and the job,” Garcia said. “The military is a good spot for the college benefits, money, job experience and the Navy is great for traveling.”

Steel City Navy Gamers consists of Navy recruiters from Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg Pa., as well as Buffalo and Syracuse N.Y. Navy Counselor 1st Class Timothy Fortier is regularly participates by streaming on the page.

“The idea of what we are trying to accomplish is providing Navy knowledge in a fun and all-inclusive setting,” Fortier said. “If anyone comes in and says ‘Hey let me play,’ we make room for them. The whole point is to be interactive with all the viewers and the people that come in the chat.” “We’re growing a product that we care about as recruiters.”

Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Jordan Vermette, spoke with Garcia more in depth once his curiosity was sparked during interactions with Steel City Navy Gamers.

“A few days passed and we started talking about the Navy on the stream and he said he was thinking about it,” Vermette said. “He called the office to get some more information on it. He came in a had a bunch of questions about the Navy, Navy Reserves and I talked with him about active duty. Then I was able to see what he wanted out of life and was able to relate the Navy to exactly what he wanted to do.”

Garcia decided the Navy was the correct path for him. Garcia is the first Future Sailor contracted through Steel City Navy Gamers Facebook page, which has amassed 1200 followers within 40 days of being a launched.

“We have a large Delayed Entry Program here and we are all connected in one way, shape or form,” Vermette said. “We always talk to our Delayed Entry Program about SC Navy Gamers.”

Vermette is proud of recruiting Garcia for more reason than one.

“What’s cool about Garcia, is I graduated from the same high school he went to. It’s crazy, because I sit in the same exact desk that my recruiter sat at when I got recruited, so it came full circle for me.”

Steel City Navy Gamers is a way recruiters assigned to NTAG Pittsburgh are getting acquainted with the community.

“Being able to not only do something we are all passionate about, which is play video games, video games connect people,” said Fortier. “It’s just a connection you can’t achieve in any other process. Being able to connect with people on the video game level, while being a recruiter and being able to push the Navy out there is a lot of fun.”

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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)