At a factory in Memphis, Tenn., he was thinking about the Navy.
It wasn’t his first time either. A little more than a year had
passed since he separated from naval service and now he missed what
it represented and what it could provide for his family.
he enlisted, again.
He joined the reserve component and then
moved on to active duty. And today he helps others follow the same
Navy Counselor 1st Class Charles “Greg” Adams now
serves as a prior-service recruiter for Navy Recruiting District
Nashville from his station at Navy Operational Support Center
July 12, 2017 - Navy Counselor 1st Class Charles "Greg" Adams
outside of Navy Recruiting District Nashville Headquarters, where he
serves after rejoining the Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Walter)
“It gave me the best of both worlds. I could have a great
family life and the Navy life,” Adams said.
journey began on the other side of the state in his hometown
of Bartlett, Tenn., just outside Memphis, Tenn. He left
there to join the Navy as an Aviation Ordnanceman in 1998
and served his country while forward-deployed in Japan,
working aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). After a full
tour, he returned to civilian life in Memphis.
he decided that he wasn’t done with the Navy, he started
researching how to get back into a uniform. His path was
through the prior-service reservist ranks.
thereafter, he became a canvasser recruiter (CANREC) and
started recruiting out of Millington, Tenn. Later, he moved
to Knoxville, Tenn., and has been there ever since. The long
process has enabled him to rejoin the active duty component
and make lasting connections along the way.
seven children, ranging in age from just under two through
16, he is more grateful than ever at the opportunities that
recruiting and the Navy have afforded him. However, the
transition from Aviation Ordnanceman to Navy Counselor
wasn’t always easy.
“It was hard in the beginning
but now it is second nature to me. My first leading petty
officer used to challenge with a lunch bet to see if I could
go and talk to a random person and get them interested in
joining the reserves. He helped break me out of my shell and
it worked,” he said.
He has learned much since those
first hesitant interactions with possible recruits. Now he
serves as the leading petty officer for all the
prior-service reserve recruiting efforts in the district.
Just recently he was awarded Navy Recruiting District
Nashville’s Recruiter of the Month for the Reserve
Along the way, he has lost count of the
hundreds of Sailors he has helped put back into the Navy.
However, he takes pride in the opportunity that his type of
recruiting affords him, particularly being able to see the
end result of a long effort.
“I often watch the
active duty recruiters who send their people off to boot
camp and most times never get to see them again. But I put
people in and I see them right here in Knoxville on drill
weekend,” he said.
Sometimes, putting a Sailor back
into service poses a logistical challenge, since he or she
may have been out of service for an extended period of time.
However, those frustrating waits often produce some of the
best outcomes for him.
“I have several success
stories where a people got put out during downsizing and I
was able to get them back in the reserves. Then later, they
were able to go back on active duty. I have worked with some
individuals for up to 18 months for various reasons, such as
finding paperwork and medical files, and now I see those
same people as Chiefs.”
This continual reminder of
his work has helped inspire him throughout his time in
Knoxville and keeps him motivated even as the methods of
recruiting continue to change around him.
“Ultimately, I help people get what they want. It’s a very
gratifying feeling and I’m thankful for it,” he said.
Navy Recruiting District Nashville is responsible for
recruiting efforts throughout more than 100,000 square miles
of the states of Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia,
Mississippi, Kentucky and Virginia.
By U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Walter
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