by Petty Officer 3rd Class Zachary S Eshleman
U.S. Navy Recruiting Command
September 3, 2018
Today, a future Sailor's first step towards joining the Navy is typically to research the job online. This creates the need for a unique type of recruiter, someone to bridge the gap between curiosity and the physical recruiting station.
Fire Controlman 1st Class Dwayne Clement, from Phoenix, Arizona, is a cyberspace recruiter, and he’s one of the many Sailors behind the Navy.com chat service, helping to find and remotely mentor quality candidates around the country.
Clement has to be able to quickly answer any question a Future Sailor may have, all while giving the information a human touch to help guide them in the right direction for who they are. It can be a difficult job, but for Clement, mentorship is second nature, and being able to lead people towards self-improvement and career advancement is very personally rewarding.
Navy Recruiting Command operates the chat from 8 a.m. to midnight to be able to respond instantly to any questions someone might have. At the click of a button, anyone can get personalized advice and direction from an experienced Sailor, from anywhere in the world.
In his limited spare time after work, Clement volunteers as a scoutmaster in Memphis, and he takes classes at the University of Memphis, working towards a Masters of Health Administration.
As a scoutmaster, it’s his job to keep his young scouts heading in the right direction, both in scouting, and in their personal lives. He sees it as a way to improve society as a whole. “The older boys that have jobs, they’re going to go out and be respectful, upstanding citizens because scouting teaches you that,” says Clement. He has also set up a mentorship program in his troop in which the older boys spend time with the new and younger scouts. He set this up so he could teach them leadership and the importance of community.
This calling to help others has been with Clement throughout his entire life. At 14, he earned the title of Eagle Scout. This required him to earn 21 merit badges, completing hundreds of community service hours and learning valuable life and leadership skills.
After high school, he took his pursuit of service to a new level, going on a two-year mission to Brazil. He had saved up the money to self-fund this trip, working construction while going to high school. He went with a group from his church, and lived and volunteered there, trying to help people all over Brazil in any way he could.
The trip had a large impact on his outlook on life. “Growing up I always had respect for the flag, and then I went and lived in Brazil,” Clement said, “I mean, America is not perfect, but I realized we have it pretty good here, and I wanted to give back to that.”
Clement’s way of giving back started with joining the Navy in 2009. After fire controlman ‘A’ school, he was stationed on the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), and he completed a deployment before being stationed at Navy Recruiting Command in Millington, Tenn.
He’s enjoyed his time recruiting and the life it allows him to have. “It’s been really nice to be able to be around for my kids and spend time with my family,” said Clement. “I’ve also learned a little bit of leadership being here as well.”
Looking forward, Clement hopes to finish his master’s degree and possibly seek a commission in the Navy Medical Corps. The one thing that’s certain though, is that no matter where he’s at, he will continue to mentor and serve his community.
The Navy's recruiting force totals more than 6,100 total personnel in more than 1,000 recruiting stations around the globe. Their combined goal is to lead, mentor, and develop future generations of Sailors.