FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Projecting a temperament and work ethic
unmatched by his peers, Sgt. Le'mon Eluett wants to win. You
wouldn't know it by speaking with him though.
February 6, 2013 - Projecting a temperament and work ethic unmatched
by his peers, Sgt. Le'Mon Eluett goes to great lengths to find the
best to become the next generation of Marines. Eluett, a native of
Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recently earned the title of Recruiting
Station Fort Lauderdale's recruiter of the year for fiscal year
2012. His success has propelled him to the billet of station
commander as a sergeant. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Scott
As a canvasing recruiter with Marine Corps Recruiting Substation
Margate, Eluett had a rocky start according to his staff
noncommissioned officer in charge, Master Sgt. Elvis John-Baptiste.
His growth and resulting success quickly smoothed his path to
earning the title of Recruiter of the Year for Recruiting Station
Eluett has recently been put in charge of
his own substation, making him the only sergeant in RS Fort
Lauderdale in charge of a substation. He recently sat down with The
Pacesetter to give us some insight to his achievements:
Pacesetter: Was being recruiter of the year a goal you set for
yourself or was it a surprise?
Sgt. Eluett: It was a complete surprise! I've never been an
award chaser, I'm just a team player. Good things come to people who
don't focus on personal gain. I'm a firm believer in one team one
fight. I just did whatever was needed from me to accomplish our
mission, even if it meant more time and effort on my part.
How does it feel being the recruiter of the year for your
It has been an eye opening experience. If I were told
that I would achieve that pinnacle of success on this duty
back in BRC, I wouldn't have believed it. I struggled in
recruiter school. But my time has now passed, my new focus
is pushing my team to achieve even more than I've
accomplished as a recruiter.
How where you selected
for recruiting duty?
Like most recruiters, I was drafted
in the 1st round! I was flagged by the HURST list.
Did you want to be a recruiter? Why or why not?
actually had it in my mind to volunteer, but not as early as
I was selected. I wanted to have a few more experiences in
the fleet before I went on recruiting duty. The reason I
even considered recruiting duty was because I was told it's
one of the most challenging things you can do.
Marine can be a DI, any Marine can do MSG, but not every
Marine has the ability to convince a complete stranger to
dedicate their lives to an organization for four years. As
any other Marine, I'm eager to find the next challenge.
Historically, during times of recession, recruitment
picks up. Does this mean recruiting is easy today?
opinion it doesn't. In today's recruiting environment we are
finding quality verses quantity. The bar has been raised and
our standards are higher than ever before, which means most
of the office traffic is disqualified. We're searching for
the diamond in the rough.
How did you make sure
standards remained high among your future Marines as a
I treated my Poolees as if they were already
Marines, teaching them the standards we believe in, also
making sure I wasn't chasing just anybody to join.
felt like I was the gate keeper, and I would only allow the
best to join this gun club. In my mind, I was hunting for my
potential replacement... looking for the next sergeant major
of the Marine Corps, or the next commandant of the Marine
How do you keep your recruiter's standards
high as a SNCOIC?
I simply ask my recruiters a genuine
question. Can you see yourself leading this individual back
in the fleet? Is that who you want to be your lance
corporal? If they can't give me a straight answer, then it's
time to go back to the drawing board and find the needle in
the haystack we're really looking for.
What has been
your biggest challenge as a recruiter?
myself... Every NCO, and SNCO comes to this duty as a
leader, and having to adjust to this new environment isn't
the easiest thing to do. It's easy telling a corporal and
below what to do, but it's a new challenge when your finding
yourself leading your peers.
What are some of your
tricks to recruiting?
The only trick I had up my sleeve
was honesty. No need falling into the stereotype that all
recruiters are liars. I used facts, using our historical
data to out sell any competition we face as recruiters.
Who have been your influential mentors on your tour as a
Hands down, the four best career recruiters
in the business... Gunery Sgt. Reyes, Master Sgt. Baca,
retired Master Gunnery Sgt Gomez and my #1 mentor who pushed
me to the level I'm at now hands down goes to Master Sgt
In your opinion, what makes or breaks
a recruiter's ability to be successful?
would say their desire to succeed. Marines don't lose; we
don't know how to lose. When you lay down in your bed every
night after a long day at the office, do you feel you left
everything on the field? Do you feel like you put fourth
your absolute best? If any of the answers end up being no,
then it's time to make a change.
What are your words
Stay true to who you are and what you
represent. If you love this organization, then you will do
exactly what is expected of you as a person and most of all
as a Marine.
We sell everyday that we are the best
in the world, that we are the tip of the spear. If this is
true, and we are the gold medal winners, we need to show it
100 percent of the time.
In the words of Vince
Lombardi... “Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the
time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do
things right once in a while; you do them right all the
time. Winning is a habit.”
By USMC Sgt. Scott Schmidt
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