SALINA, Kan. – Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Mid America recently opened a Navy Recruiting Station (NRS) in Salina, Kansas, May 1, 2020. The new station, located in the town’s Central Mall, will serve as a core resource for recruiting future Sailors into the Navy.

NRS Salina is the 30th brick-and-mortar station to join the NTAG Mid America family and is led by Machinery Repairman 1st Class Justin Bacon.

Bacon, born and raised in McPherson, Kansas, decided to do recruiting duty back in his home state because he wanted to use his Fleet experiences and leadership to lead Sailors and pique people’s interest in the Navy.

“I’m very excited to be here,” said Bacon. “I have a very good outlook on my career, so I think I’m a prime candidate to shed some light on the Navy.”

Despite being in the middle of the Midwest, Bacon feels that NRS Salina, its surrounding area and community are valuable assets to the Navy’s recruiting mission.

“The Navy definitely needs to be in Salina so we can keep people informed,” said Bacon. “There’s a lot of talent here and it’s a great market to tap into. Salina definitely has the kind of motivated and hard-working people the Navy needs.”

Despite having just opened their doors, NRS Salina already has the aforementioned type of people interested in being part of the world’s most powerful Navy.

Logan Hasselman, a 19-year-old from Abilene, Kansas, was the first local Future Sailor to walk through NRS Salina’s doors.

“I initially went online to navy.com to learn more about the Navy,” said Hasselman. “A recruiter contacted me shortly after I submitted my information and directed me to the closest station which happened to be down the road.”

Hasselman’s interest in the Navy purely came from a desire to be the best person he can be.

“I want to better myself,” said Hasselman. “I think among all the military branches, the Navy has the most opportunities for me to do that.”

On May 20, Hasselman swore-in to the Navy at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Kansas City, Missouri. While at MEPS, he chose his rate as a Machinist’s Mate Submarines. The job came with a 5-year commitment and a $12,000 enlistment bonus.

“I picked my rate because I’ve always been around machinery,” said Hasselman. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been working with my dad who is a vehicle mechanic. So, it seemed like a good fit for me.”

As for why he’d like to serve aboard submarines as a mechanic, his answer was simple.

“Submarines just seem really cool.”

Although Bacon, who is Hasselman’s recruiter, hasn’t served aboard any submarines, he’s positive the young man will succeed in the Navy.

“Knowing that I’m guiding someone in the right direction has such a positive impact on me and my Future Sailors,” said Bacon. “My time in the Navy has been very rewarding, and I hope it’s just as rewarding for Future Sailor Hasselman.”

Hasselman is due to ship out to the Navy’s only boot camp, Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois, June 29.

The U.S. Navy has been recruiting amid the COVID-19 pandemic, by practicing virtual recruiting, enacting strict screening processes, physical distancing and utilizing protective gear to the fullest extent possible.

NTAG Mid America, part of Navy Recruiting Command (NRC), recruits the next generation of Navy Sailors throughout areas encompassing Missouri, Kansas, central and southern Illinois, and a portion of Kentucky.



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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)