Recruiter, 80, Still Brings in Soldiers
(December 20, 2009)
Retired Army Sgt. Maj. Ray Moran stands next to the sign that
points to his office at Fort George G. Meade, Md., and uses the nickname he
gives to himself and many others, "Old Soldier."
||FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md.,
December 17, 2009
He turned 80 in November and
is having difficulty getting around - not
because of any physical impairments, but rather
because during his 59 years of recruiting,
retired Army Sgt. Maj. Raymond Moran seems to
know everyone, everywhere.
"I hate to take him shopping with me," his wife,
Barbara, said. "He says he will push the basket,
but then I have to look for him all over the
store, because he is talking to friends. And
that does not just happen in the commissary.
Every place we go, he has enlisted someone or
someone from their family, and they recognize
him and they get into conversations."
An average trip to the store, Barbara said, is increased by
30 minutes when Moran accompanies her, but she also knows
how much it means to him to promote the benefits of the Army
and speak to soldiers who enlisted under his guidance. |
Over the years, many people have trusted the guidance of
Moran. He has enlisted everyone he could, including friends
and family, who he is quick to mention "all still love me."
However, when asked how many people he has recruited, he
says he simply doesn't know.
"I have lost track over time,” he said. “I would have to say
over 1,000. It is just something I never kept a list of. I
just call them the Old Soldier's Brigade."
His friends and colleagues call him the Old Soldier, a
moniker he earned in Vietnam nearly 40 years ago, and
although his age may justify the title, his attitude is
anything but old.
Lt. Col. Gary Sheftick, who joined the Army Reserve with the
help of Moran, agrees.
"He has a lot of enthusiasm, and he is definitely passionate
about the Army. ... He cares about soldiers, people, the Army
and America,” Sheftick said. “He has a deep passion that
drives him. He seems to genuinely care about the young men
and women he is helping become soldiers."
Getting out and talking to people is one of the main tools
of a recruiter, Moran said, but not the most important one.
"The most important thing is establishing a reputation of
being truthful," he said. "When people trust you, they will
send friends and family to talk to you. Once people trust
you, they will follow your recommendations for the Army."
"Sergeant Major Moran is the kind of person that you would
want to teach your kids," said Edwin MacDonald, director of
operations sustainment for Camber Corp. "His character,
ethics and morals are something that you only read about,
but when you're with him, you know in minutes this is who
they wrote the book after."
So why after nearly 59 years does Moran continue to recruit?
Moran said it simply never has crossed his mind to retire.
"It's just not something I think about,” he said. “I enjoy
what I am doing, and I enjoy who I work with. You will not
find better people to work with. For me, it is a great sense
Article and photo by Jonathan E. Agee|
Army's 1st Recruiting Brigade
Special to American Forces Press Service
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