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Recruiter Unlocks Her Own Destiny
by U.S. Navy Dan Rachal, NTAG Portland Public Affairs
May 19, 2022

Machinist Mate 2nd Class Mayeli Rangel wanted to leave shore duty and go back to sea. Barely into her second month at Navy Recruiting Station Boise (NRS), Idaho, she decided that the job was going to be too much, that she would never be a good recruiter.

May 5, 2022 - Machinist Mate 2nd Class Mayeli Rangel poses for an official Navy photo at Navy Talent Acquisition Group Portland. (U.S. Navy photo by Dan Rachal, NTAG Portland Public Affairs)
May 5, 2022 - Machinist Mate 2nd Class Mayeli Rangel poses for an official Navy photo at Navy Talent Acquisition Group Portland. (U.S. Navy photo by Dan Rachal, NTAG Portland Public Affairs)

“I was scared and didn’t know anything about the recruiting world,” Rangel said. “I told NC1 [Navy Counselor 1st Class] Humbert, ‘Send me back to the fleet. I think I made a mistake. I don’t think this is what I wanted.’”

Her productivity was low. Even though Rangel had been recruiting for two months, she had yet to get her first contract and even obtaining interviews was a challenge.

Navy Counselor 1st Class Nicholas Humbert, NRS Boise leading petty officer, gave her the task of going back through old interviews of prospective applicants who never ended up joining. Rangel began reaching out, contacting old prospects and seeing if anyone was still interested.

It turns out, one was. That was when things began to change.

Rangel asked one of the applicants she contacted if he was still interested in hearing about Navy career paths, and to her surprise, he said yes.

Not long into their interview, she learned that he was in a messy home situation, was scared for his siblings and was trying to see how he could be financially stable enough to support them.

They talked about benefits and what the Navy could offer that would improve his situation. With her first contract, Rangel did exactly what she set out to do when she took orders for recruiting; she was helping change someone’s life for the better.

Even after writing her first contract, Rangel still struggled with whether or not she was cut out for recruiting. She reached out to another recruiter in Boise, who helped her realize the impact she was capable of having. The recruiter asked what motivated her to come to work and her response was not positive.

“I hate this job,” Rangel told him. “I should have gone back to turning wrenches. I was happier doing that.”

Then she told him about her first contract, and he reminded her that she changed someone’s life for the better, just as the Navy did for her. That was when the proverbial lightbulb went off. Rangel was not going to get caught up in the metrics that made her feel like she was not cut out for recruiting duty. She was going to focus on the people who walked through the door, those who could really benefit from what the Navy had to offer.

“That’s the moment that it hit me: I’m changing people’s lives for the better,” Rangel said. “The numbers don’t matter. I don’t care about that. What I care about is changing people’s lives the way I did for that one kid. That’s what made me think that maybe I was meant for this. “

Now, Rangel has become one of the top recruiters at Navy Talent Acquisition Group Portland. NC1 Dave Luper, NRS Boise leading chief petty officer, has seen Rangel’s growth and believes that her ceiling is very high.

“It’s very uncomfortable coming to recruiting because it’s not at all what you expect,” Luper said. “She thought she was out of her element. She is so outgoing and these kids respond to that. If she chooses to do so, everybody else watch out because she’ll be recruiter of the year.”

NTAG Portland has 18 Navy recruiting stations covering more than 200,000 square miles in rural and metropolitan areas in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada.

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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