Jamaican shines as US Navy recruiter in Florida Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

While assigned to the US Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Miami, Jamaican Oneil James has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, recognised as Recruiter of the Month, Recruiter of the Quarter, and received multiple accolades.

According to the Navy Office of Community Outreach, these attest to the sailor’s commitment and dedication to moulding tomorrow’s Navy.

“There is no better feeling than seeing an applicant transition from future sailor to sailor,” Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class James said. “Knowing you were part of changing and impacting their life, and the gratitude they express is beyond humbling.”

James is from Ocho Rios in Jamaica. He was recruited out of Port St Lucie, Florida, just over eight years ago as a Hospital Corpsman, and is currently assigned to NTAG Miami.

James always aspired to protect and serve. He had an initial interest in law enforcement, however, after learning about the Navy, he found his true calling and enlisted.

When asked why he chose to join the Navy, without skipping a beat, James replied: “To be a part of something greater than myself.”

Before becoming a recruiter and being assigned to Navy Recruiting Station Lake Worth, he was stationed at Naval Hospital Jacksonville and subsequently, in the medical department aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). While assigned, he earned the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification.

James said he pursued recruiting duty because he genuinely enjoys helping people.

“The Navy has provided me and my children stability and the ability to live a great life. For that, I am thankful, and I want to share that with as many people that will listen,” James said.

The Jamaican started his recruiting career 15 months ago and said he sees his assignment as an esteemed opportunity to be entrusted to man the fleet with the best and brightest sailors. He has embraced that responsibility, welcoming the challenges and achievements alike.

According to James, he finds recruiting so unique because he can have a conversation with someone who has no idea what the Navy is, or perhaps they are uncertain what to do next with their life, and then they find themselves answering their own call to serve and wanting to join the very next day.

He finds it rewarding to connect others with the same life and career opportunities the Navy has provided him and his family.

James said he is appreciative of the US Navy for many reasons. A few of those are the financial support to pursue a college education, a pathway to citizenship, and that it has allowed him to have future financial and career goals in real estate.

James spends his off-duty hours immersed in giving back to the community. He volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club of West Palm Beach, the USS Iwo Jima Sea Cadets, Haverhill Youth Soccer Club, and as the assistant football coach at Wellington High School.

His goals are to complete his bachelor’s degree, continue advancing along his enlisted career path, and serve a full 20-year career in the Navy.

He enjoys the discipline and the mentorship the Navy has provided and the fact that he can pay it forward amongst his peers and future sailors.

“If there is ever anything my sailors or I need, there is always someone I can reach out to. Whatever the problem or the need is, it will get resolved, and we will be taken care of,” James said. “It truly is a family.”James said just as leaders and mentors had invested in him in his eight years, he is devoted to returning that investment.

Commander, Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, two 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 the US Navy, the Navy Office of Community Outreach.