CINCINNATI, Ohio (April 15, 2021) – When presented with the opportunity to come back to his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio to change lives, Information Systems Technician (Submarines) 1st Class Marlin Flanders jumped at the opportunity.

After graduating high school, Flanders completed his bachelor’s degree from the College of Mount Saint Joseph. Job prospects seemed thin even with his new degree in liberal studies and he knew he needed a change. Luckily, he had a friend that could help with that. Flanders’ friend was a Navy recruiter and in 2014, enlisted him in the Navy as an information systems technician.

“I had no experience working in IT, other than downloading music and using social media, but was excited to learn the trade,” said Flanders. “I chose to go submarines because it would get me to bootcamp even faster.”

After recruit training, Flanders went to Groton, Connecticut where he not only completed submarine school, but also met his wife. He was then assigned to his first submarine, USS Alaska (SSBN 732) in Kings Bay, Georgia. After completing six deployments and having a daughter, it was time for his next assignment.

“My family and I wanted to come home to Cincinnati because we enjoy it so much here,” said Flanders. “The best way to do that was to go recruiting.”

After speaking with his enlisted community manager and the chief recruiter in Ohio, he was offered that chance as he reported to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Ohio River Valley in July 2019. He was going to be a talent scout at the North College Hill office in his hometown of Cincinnati.

“I absolutely love it here and love recruiting where I came from,” said Flanders. “My favorite thing is providing people the opportunity to change their lives and shape their futures; much like the opportunity I was given.”

Flanders believes that recruiting in an environment his is highly familiar with coincides to why he is so successful in his recruiting mission.

“I can recruit at my old high school and see the teachers that were there when I attended,” said Flanders. “Many of the kids I went to school with are now teachers at the school and I know some of these students’ family members because of my ties to this community. I believe that makes it easier for me.”

It is apparent that he is correct as he netted 53 enlisted contracts in 2020 and earned an amazing amount of recognition from Recruiting Nation. He was awarded the 2020 NTAG Ohio River Valley Talent Scout of the Year, the 2020 NTAG Ohio River Valley Junior Sailor of the Year and the 2020 Navy Recruiting Command Region East Sourcer of the Year. All of which helped him earn meritorious advancement to first class petty officer.

“I don’t really care about the recognition,” said Flanders. “I just enjoy the fact that I can share my experience with people and change lives. I am going to continue to excel at my job regardless of the awards and recognition. As The Rock once said, ‘Success isn’t always about greatness, it’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success and the greatness will come.’”

He also believe it is the way he recruits that sets him apart from others. Instead of the scripted presentations and videos at local schools, he prefers to just tell them his story and ask questions.

“I share my experience and speak from the heart,” said Flanders. “I basically introduce myself, explain my situation after high school and just talk about why I joined and what I’ve been able to do. All the benefits that come with it are explained as I tell my story. I paint a picture with words so these students can see themselves in a similar, very positive, situation.”

He is currently working on is Masters of Science in Cybersecurity at Regent University and plans on joining the Naval Reserves to be commissioned after his active duty enlistment. He wants to be around his family as much as possible all while staying in his hometown of Cincinnati.

“The Navy provides a great path to a successful future,” said Flanders. “Regardless of your job or where you are stationed, you’ll be provided with steady pay, free medical and dental and free college. Even if you don’t make a career out of the Navy, it can be an amazing stepping stone to whatever future path you go down.”


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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)