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    RTC Staff in the Spotlight: ABH1 Benjamin Smith

    RTC Staff in the Spotlight: ABH1 Benjamin Smith

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Spencer Fling | Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Benjamin Smith, a recruit division...... read more read more

    GREAT LAKES, IL, UNITED STATES

    07.14.2021

    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Spencer Fling 

    U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command

    Meet ABH1 Benjamin Smith! He is currently serving as a #RecruitDivisionCommander at #RecruitTrainingCommand, the #Navy’s only #BootCamp

    “My favorite part of being an RDC is seeing these recruits grow up and starting to make decisions on their own and take initiative. The accountability is the big part for me, whenever they can admit they made a mistake and they learned from their mistake instead of trying to cover it up, I think that's pretty neat.”

    As an #AviationBoatswainsMate, Smith has worked as a yellow shirt on one of the most dangerous offices in the Navy, the aircraft carrier flight deck, a place where accountability is absolute. His deployments on both the #USSGeorgeWashington and #USSTheodoreRoosevelt aircraft carriers gave him hard-earned wisdom and experience that he constantly tries to pass down to his recruits.

    “Out in the fleet, it’s really important that if you mess up or if you aren’t confident in what you’re doing, you let somebody know. You don’t want things to snowball into a bigger issue that leads to either loss of equipment or, even worse, loss of life.”

    Just like on the flight deck, Smith says being an RDC is a large responsibility that ultimately comes down to being able to trust those with whom you are serving. Gaining the trust of his recruits is a process that he takes very seriously.

    “I feel the recruits look to me like a big brother. After week four or five, they see that I care about them and they'll start to open up about things. They really do hang on to every little single word that I say. So, I have to be really careful with the words that I choose. If I tear them down, I feel I have to build them back up because they really do care a lot about what they are doing here.”

    The hands on, personal approach came from one of Smith’s leaders and mentors at a previous command during his career.

    “CMC Andrew Hochgraver is one of my mentors. I was an executive assistant for him in Naples for about seven months and he really inspired me. I got to see the stuff that goes on behind the scenes and the way that he truly cared about his Sailors as a leader at his level, it was really was eye-opening and rewarding for me. He is one of the people that inspired me to become an RDC and he made me interested in trying to walk the same route as him one day as a CMC.”

    For Smith, his mantra of taking care of the Sailors entrusted to his care also ties back to the most important thing in his life, his family.

    “I'm just a big family guy. I’ve missed my family every single day of the 10 years that I’ve been in the Navy. But it is for a purpose and a reason. My biggest personal goal with being in the Navy and being an RDC right now is making my family proud. I know that I'm putting in Sailors that can go out and serve this nation and protect everyone I love back at home. To me, it goes beyond just having a recruit that gets a good drill score or a good inspection score. Are the recruits I’m sending out of here good people and good Sailors that will help protect my family and this nation? I believe they are.”

    #HOOYAH ABH1 Smith!

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.14.2021
    Date Posted: 07.14.2021 12:51
    Story ID: 400880
    Location: GREAT LAKES, IL, US 

    Web Views: 1,229
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN