Coaching Future Sailors, High School Athletes
by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Dobbs
December 31, 2021
Joining the Navy is a transformative experience. For people entering a Navy recruiting station for the first time, their interaction with a recruiter can ultimately change the course of their entire life.
Missile Technician 2nd Class Joshua Eynon, leading petty officer at Navy Recruiting Station Mechanicsburg has been assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Pittsburgh for more than two years and said he experiences a great deal of joy from the job he does on a daily basis.
“It’s always good getting to see the smiling faces on my co-workers, thinking of a plan to make the day fun, exciting and entertaining for them, and then going out and finding the best people possible to join the Navy,” Eynon said.
Eynon has served in the Navy for eight years and prior to becoming a recruiter, he spent a combined five years serving on the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739).
While out to sea, missile technicians control and operate everything with the strategic weapon systems. For Eynon that meant the Trident II D5 Missiles and the system components.
“We make sure it's preserved correctly underway and it launches when we need it to launch. We also handle the onload and offload of those weapons,” Eynon said.
Though he said he loves being a missile technician, Eynon was looking forward to going back home in Pennsylvania to recruit. As a Central Dauphin High School graduate in 2012, he played defensive end and was a member of the school’s only football state championship in 2011.
“I chose recruiting back home because I wanted to give back to the community, like how my community supported me when I joined,” Eynon said. “I’ve enjoyed the community relations, catching up with people I know, and just bringing the Navy to Harrisburg. That was the main reason.”
Eynon is passionate about his family, sports, the Navy and attending college.
Eynon has spent two years as a volunteer football coach at East Pennsboro Area High School. He coaches linebackers and works with the junior varsity team as the overall strength and conditioning coordinator. It’s not hard to see the similarities between his efforts as a recruiter and leading petty officer (LPO), and as a coach working with athletes at school.
December 7, 2019 - Missile technician 2nd Class Joshua Eynon, right, a recruiter assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Pittsburgh, stands with the Central Dauphin Rams football team, and salutes the flag during the national anthem at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association 6A state championship at Hersheypark Stadium. Eynon played defensive end, and won a state championship as part of Central Dauphin’s 2011 team. He attended the game to show support for his alma mater. NTAG Pittsburgh, part of Navy Recruiting Command, recruits the next generation of Navy Sailors throughout areas in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, and Maryland. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Benjamin Dobbs)
An LPO is a petty officer, paygrade of E4 through E6, who has been chosen and appointed a leadership role over a group of Sailors in a workplace. The LPO carries out orders in support of the command mission and sees to organizational responsibilities by leading their assigned workers.
“It's more management as far as working with recruiters, but also making sure that your future Sailors are taken care of,” said Eynon. “You’re still doing your job. LPO doesn't mean you stop recruiting. I want to make that very clear. LPO does not mean you stop doing what you did as a talent scout. I have that responsibility on top of making sure that everyone is trained up and doing what they need to do to be successful. As long as you take care of your people and take care of the mission we can win.”
Eynon’s future goals include being promoted to first class petty officer, and completing his bachelor's degree in applied management from Grand Canyon University online.
“My daughter is my biggest motivation and I have the best wife in the world,” Eynon said. “I want to finish my degree. It’s extremely important to me. Being one of the first people in my family to get a bachelor's degree is big for me. I just want to make sure my family is taken care of and do what I have to do in the Navy.”
Eynon’s efforts don’t go unnoticed. Navy Counselor 1st Class Danielle Burroughs, NTAG Pittsburgh’s command career counselor and prior service recruiter works in the office with Eynon and notices his dedication to the job.
“I can say he's very sharp,” Burroughs said. “He's here until 9 o'clock at night if he has to. He's very passionate and cares about making mission. I can say he cares about everything that goes on whether it's talking to an applicant, talking to high school kids, working with other recruiters, or talking to the chief recruiter and departmental lead chief petty officer he has to coordinate with. He'll work as long as he has to because he cares so much. I think he puts a lot of pressure on himself, but he's going to do whatever it takes to make things happen.”
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions and 26 Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
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