Finding Adventure In The Navy
by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Meranda Keller
July 19, 2021
Within eight months of being onboard Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Golden Gate, Lt. Cmdr. Sam Chiang improved officer recruiting numbers and received recognition for her hard work to raise the bar.
July 11, 2021 - Lt. Cmdr. Sam Chiang, Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Coordinator assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Golden Gate poses for a scenic photo with the fog shrouded Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay in the background. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Meranda Keller)
As the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Coordinator, she put in countless hours getting future Sailors into the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) Program and was awarded the General Officer (GENOFF) Recruiter of the Quarter award for Q2 of fiscal year 2021.
"It is important for me to put in good officers who I would want to serve with, and who will take care of their Sailors in the fleet," Chiang said. “I also strive to be a positive representative of the Navy in the Bay Area and develop good community connections."
As a San Jose, California, native and a former member of her high school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Chiang has returned home to talk to applicants who are motivated to serve their country and help them start their Navy careers.
"As the NROTC coordinator for the Bay Area, it feels like my career has come full circle to where I started my Navy journey," said Chiang. "I was not looking for a desk job; I was looking for adventure. I tell my applicants that when they are deciding between a desk job and the Navy. Corporate desk jobs will always be there after the Navy. I believe the best time to join the Navy is when you are young and able to live this lifestyle."
Chiang found adventure during her naval career while serving aboard the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG-72), Navy Operational Support Center Alameda, and now recruiting at NTAG Golden Gate. She is also active in cycling as well as volunteering in her community.
Three years ago, while attending the University of Oregon, Chiang's roommate, a bike mechanic, helped her get started in biking to school every day. Both were in the Sustainable Business Program and biking was a way for them to limit their carbon emissions.
"I love cycling because it’s a good workout, lets me enjoy the outdoors, and it’s an environmentally friendly commuting option,” said Chiang.
Chiang currently is a part of a cycling club in Oakland called the Grizzly Peak Cyclists. To date, her longest ride completed is 70 miles from San Francisco International Airport down the peninsula and up to Berkeley. Her personal goal is to complete a century bike ride (100-mile race) one day.
Chiang said her passion for cycling mirrors her passion for her naval career.
“We’re blessed to work with somebody like Chiang,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jack MeGee. “She has an unmatched combination of professionalism, customer service, and positive energy that has become the model for other recruiters to replicate. She’s committed to the success of her applicants as well as her community. She also volunteers in Oakland coaching cross country. She personifies what it means to lead from the front.”
In addition to coaching, Chiang does college prep and free SAT tutoring for students. Most of the students are the first generation in their families to go to college.
"I joined the Navy to serve my country; to be a part of something greater than myself," said Chiang. "I became an officer to lead Sailors every day and I am proud to wear the uniform."
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, 3 Navy Recruiting Regions, 26 Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,330 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to ensure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
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