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    Rising to the Challenge

    Rising to the Challenge

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Kathleen Gorby | Quarter Master 2nd Class Silbina Herrera, a recruiter assigned to Navy Talent...... read more read more



    Story by Chief Petty Officer Kathleen Gorby 

    Navy Recruiting Command

    MIAMI - On a bright summer morning in July, In-Port Security (IPS) Watch Commander Quarter Master 2nd Class Silbina Herrera was settling into her daily routine when she noticed something was wrong. When she looked over the water, her usual view of the San Diego skyline was obscured by giant plumes of white smoke billowing from the side of her ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6).

    Herrera wasted no time springing into action. She sent the junior Sailor she had been training to his repair locker, gathered her Sailors and set to work doing what she and every U.S. Navy Sailor is trained to do; fight fires.

    The ship fire began on 12 July 2020, and sailors teamed with local fire fighting teams, battled the flames for four days before it was over. The damage was catastrophic and resulted in the ship’s decommissioning and the injury of 63 sailors and civilians.

    Unforgettable, the knowledge and the team experience gained from this battle left Herrera with a deep understanding of commitment and fortitude.

    One year later, Herrera took the lessons she learned and applied them to recruiting at Navy Talent Acquisition Group Miami.

    "I feel I'm a better recruiter because of the things I've done," said Herrera. "When I talk to people about Navy opportunities and advantages, I can speak from a place of experience."

    She tells her applicants that some people may be boatswain mates in the Navy, some may be cooks, but everyone is a Sailor first, and with that comes the responsibility to fight shipboard fires.

    "Some applicants feel they need to be out in a desert with a gun to help save American lives, but I tell them that's not true," said Herrera. "When we are out to sea, we have to rely on ourselves; there isn't anyone who can come to our aid if we find ourselves in trouble."

    Some applicants do not believe Herrera when she starts talking about her experiences.

    "I am very real with my applicants, and it helps build and create trust," said Herrera. "These future Sailors can search anything, so I come with facts and don't baby them."

    Herrera also took away a deeper appreciation for training.

    “When I'm talking to future Sailors, I tell them how important our training is, and it's not something we do to take up time,” said Herrera. “Sadly, some people don't realize how critical it can be until they are put into those positions and face reality.”

    While Herrera may have traded sunny San Diego for sunny Miami, she will never forget the events of that day and the days that followed. It’s that feeling of service and sacrifice that she hopes to instill in the next generation of Sailors.

    NTAG Miami is composed of the best naval officers, enlisted sailors, and civilian personnel operating in a 60,000 square mile territory. NTAG South and Central Florida from Brooksville (50 miles north of Tampa), east to Vero Beach, drawing a line under Orlando and south including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each year, the command accesses approximately 2,000 young men and women into the United States Navy.

    Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 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.

    For more news from Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, go to Follow Navy Recruiting on Facebook (, Twitter (@USNRecruiter) and Instagram (@USNRecruiter).



    Date Taken: 09.10.2021
    Date Posted: 09.10.2021 15:46
    Story ID: 404931
    Location: MIAMI, FL, US 

    Web Views: 491
    Downloads: 0