PHILADELPHIA (NNS) -- The week-long Swarm Philadelphia event came to its successful conclusion, culminating in cannon fire that signified the U.S. Navy victory over the U.S. Army in the 120th Army-Navy football game on Dec. 14.

On Dec. 9, a team of 78 of the nation’s top recruiters, including local recruiters from Navy Recruiting District Philadelphia and a special recruiting team from Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) headquarters, were hand selected to begin a week-long mission of building Navy awareness and enhancing relations throughout community outreach as a way to recruit the best talent into the Navy from across the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.

The increased number of recruiters, and a historically highly-anticipated National Collegiate Athletic Association game between the Navy and the Army, created an opportunity for more public interactions, raising awareness about the service as a career, educating students on scholarships offered by the Navy, and highlighting the U.S. Navy’s nuclear field careers, which are in high demand in both the military and civilian markets.


The Swarm team visited 18 high schools where they gave classroom presentations and discussed career opportunities and benefits within the Navy. Recruiters particularly focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects with a goal of targeting highly qualified students for the nuclear field and other advanced career fields. School visits were also augmented by the Burke and Nimitz virtual reality experiences, which offer immersion in realistic tactical scenarios, appealing to the tech-savvy generation.

“These assets offer users the most realistic Navy experience possible,” said Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, Rear Adm. Brendan R. McLane. “Virtual reality has allowed us to come a long way - where we once were only able to describe these experiences, now we can present the reality of a Navy mission in an interactive way, using the best technology available. To reach a high-caliber pool of recruiting prospects, we need high-caliber recruiting tools, and this display is truly state of the art.”

In addition to school visits, the team represented the Navy during a home basketball game between Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets, meeting with local veterans and sharing the Navy experience with the fans.

Overall during the Swarm, the team received more than 2,500 surveys, more than 400 requests for further information about the Navy, close to 200 appointments and more than 1,000 recruiting leads. While the initial numbers for the event are significant on their own, the impact of the Swarm efforts will continue to bring new talent into the Navy, keeping local recruiters busy for months to come.

The last day of Swarm centered on the highly-anticipated, annual Army-Navy football game - a college football rivalry game between the Army Black Knights of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the Navy Midshipmen of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. Prior to the game, the national recruiting team and future Sailors had the opportunity to speak to the fans further strengthening Navy awareness. The highlight for many of the future Sailors and recruiters was the opportunity to meet and speak with the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON), Russell Smith, the most senior enlisted member of the Navy.

“It was an amazing experience overall,” said Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Bradley Gosson, assigned to NRD Philadelphia. “And meeting the MCPON was a great motivational boost. He had a lot of words of wisdom and knowledge to share with the future Sailors and the recruiters - a once in a lifetime opportunity, not many Sailors can say they met and spoke to the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.”

During the game, 20 future Sailors took the field, led by McLane, who administered the oath of enlistment, officially bringing these young men and women into the military service.

“The swearing in ceremony with our future Sailors was the most humbling,” shared Gosson, who was one of the recruiters escorting future Sailors onto the field. “It definitely reminded us that the job that we do as recruiters and mentors isn’t for us, but it’s for them! I am very proud of every single future Sailor who has taken the oath of enlistment to defend this country. Hooyah!”



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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)