Ohio Army National Guard recruiting earns national award again
Story by Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
The Ohio Army National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program that prepares hundreds of new enlistees every year for basic training has received national recognition.
The National Guard Bureau has selected the program as the Recruit Sustainment Program of the Year for a large state in federal fiscal year 2018. The award was presented to Lt. Col. David Swisher, commander of the Ohio Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion, during the recent Director’s Strength Maintenance Awards Conference in Potomac, Maryland.
“It’s quite an honor. This award reflects (recruiters’) hard work and dedication to not just the battalion, but to each and every new Soldier in the organization. This award shows that our recruiters do so much more than just recruit applicants — they groom them to be professional Soldiers,” Swisher said.
Once a month, the Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP) Soldiers drill with recruiters to progress through several phases of the program that include classroom instruction and hands-on training in basic soldiering skills to help prepare them for the stresses and rigors of basic training.
Ohio ranked best in the nation during the last fiscal year with nearly 99 percent of its Soldiers successfully entering basic training. More than 84 percent of them graduated and began drilling with their Guard unit. The program had 72 honor graduates and distinguished honor graduates from Army basic training and advanced individual training.
“Our leaders, noncommissioned officers and contractors work ethic, experience and dedication to our RSP have created a program that other states strive to emulate,” said OHARNG Recruiting and Retention Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Stormes.
In addition to mentoring and coaching applicants and their families for basic training and life as a Citizen-Soldier, Swisher said Ohio Army National Guard RSP leadership also puts an emphasis on Soldier care, which “encompasses everything from verifying pay and family care plans, but also incorporating our Citizen Soldier for Life partners to teach basic life skills such as financial planning.”
This is the fifth time the Ohio Army National Guard RSP has won the national award, with previous recognition in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2015.