Finding His Place
by U.S. Navy Rebecca McCarty, Public Affairs Officer, Recruiting District Raleigh
June 28, 2019
For one Navy recruiter stationed in Georgia, the ultimate measure of character is not where you stand while at ease, but where you stand in times of challenge. Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Oscar A. Gotay-Vega, a native from Cayey, Puerto Rico, says he lives by this, and he was always taught that hard work is the road to success.
March 23, 2019 - With hard work and perseverance, Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Oscar Gotya-Vega became the Leading Petty Officer for one of the largest recruiting stations within Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Raleigh, Virginia. (U.S. Navy photo by Rebecca McCarty, Public Affairs Officer, Recruiting District Raleigh)
“When I was a kid, my mother would always make sure that her struggles would be her children’s success,” said Gotay-Vega.
Gotay-Vega joined the Navy in 2011 through the Seaman Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (PACT). This is an enlistment program that allows Sailors to join the Navy without a specific job and eventually qualify for one of several ratings through on-the-job training. A year after joining, while assigned to USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Gotay-Vega decided to pursue the rate of Boatswain’s Mate.
Boatswain’s Mate is one of the oldest rates in the Navy, and it has an extensive history of honored traditions. They maintain the interior and exterior surfaces of ships, operate deck handling equipment, handle cargo, and they operate small boats during a number of evolutions including anti-terrorism operations and maritime interdiction boarding’s of suspect ships.
“Boatswain’s Mate is the best rate the Navy has to offer. I absolutely love it!” Gotay-Vega said.
Even though Gotay-Vega loves his rate, he wanted to do more for the Navy. “I took on a billet as a career counselor, that’s when I knew I wanted to be a recruiter.” Gotay-Vega is currently a recruiter at Navy Recruiting Station (NRS) Augusta, Georgia.
“I felt like recruiting was my calling. It was a way to give back to my community and guide young adults to a successful career,” said Gotay-Vega.
With hard work and perseverance, Gotay-Vega became the Leading Petty Officer for one of the largest recruiting stations within Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Raleigh, Va.
Like any other job in the Navy, recruiting has its challenges. “I wanted to make sure my team was successful,” said Gotay-Vega. “As a team we earned top ‘Large Station’ and ‘Large Leads Station’ multiple times.”
Gotay-Vega is not only a team player, but he often takes his job to heart. He says being a recruiter gives him a unique opportunity to connect with people and share how the Navy has changed his life.
“I have been a recruiter for two-and-a-half years, and knowing that I am able to share my life experiences while being able to help others toward a successful future, like my mother did, assures me that I am where I need to be.”
Gotay-Vega’s mother, Nydia Vega-Rios, is a strong influence in his life and he believes she’s proud of him. Being on recruiting duty has allowed Gotay-Vega more time with family but it hasn’t slowed his ambition to grow as a Sailor and lead within his command.
“The Navy has shown me how to lead by example, and with that I have been able to accomplish many goals,” said Gotay-Vega. “I hope that I can continue on this path of success within the recruiting field.”
NRD Raleigh territory includes North and South Carolina as well as the city of Augusta, Georgia.
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 20 Navy Recruiting Districts and six NTAGS that serve more than 1,300 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
Commander, Navy Recruiting Command | U.S. Navy | U.S. Navy Gifts