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    Three Philadelphia recruiters earn the highest recruiting awards in the Nation.

    Recipients of 2021 National Recruiting Awards

    Photo By Chief Petty Officer Diana Quinlan | 210804-N-WF272-1005 PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 4, 2021) Lt. Cmdr. Lennox Smith, a native of...... read more read more



    Story by Chief Petty Officer Diana Quinlan  

    Navy Talent Acquisition Group Philadelphia

    PHILADELPHIA – As the third smallest recruiting district in the country, Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Philadelphia is, by all accounts, an underdog. Yet, in 2021 this underdog proved that it brings the most effort to play in the big league, claiming three Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (NRC) 2021 National Recruiting Awards, more than any other NTAG in the nation.

    Three recruiters put NTAG Philadelphia on the map in 2021, by earning the highest of accolades. Lt. Cmdr. Lennox Smith was named Diversity Officer Recruiter of the Year, Navy Counselor 1st Class Wesley Lewison IX received Innovator of the Year, and Navy Counselor 1st Class Austin Boone claimed ROTC Coordinator of the Year.

    Smith, a native of Upper Darby, Pa., is a veteran of recruiting who has earned multiple National Recruiting Awards over the years. A powerhouse recruiter who has consistently ranked as a top officer recruiter across the district, there was no doubt of his excellence in 2021, in which he successfully recruited and enlisted the most diverse candidates for Officer Candidate School (OCS).

    “I was overjoyed to learn that I once again received the National Recruiter Award,” shared Smith. “Although recruiting is not about receiving awards, I am humbled and appreciative to know that I am being recognized for my achievements in this fashion.”

    Smith, who has extensive experience in officer recruiting, described his job as being about doing one’s best and giving the finest customer service on a daily basis.

    “What drives me each and every day as a recruiter is the opportunity to speak with a prospect about the opportunities and advantages that are available to each and every Sailor in the Navy,” explained Smith. “I enjoy mentoring young people, and sharing my experiences. My goal is to learn something new every day and to give back to the next generation, and recruiting is an important way to do both.”

    Smith’s motto is to give the very best, be transparent and timely in responses to all queries, “to treat every prospect as if they were you, the one being recruited, and how you would want to be treated throughout the process.”

    “This shows the prospect that I am just as interested in the process with them as they are,” elaborated Smith. “To be a successful recruiter, I believe, you must also have an excellent working relationship with your team, as well as a process for moving a candidate from being a potential prospect to enlisting them into the Navy to become an officer - a future leader.”

    Continuing the officer programs’ success standard set by Smith, Petty Officer Boone, a native of Vineland, N.J., earned Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) coordinator of the year. Although his prior experience was in enlisted recruiting, Boone adapted quickly, majorly improving upon what was already set in place. The pace he set for himself and commitment to the job helped him reach astonishing goals.

    Within a year of program ownership, he facilitated the application process of 446 applicants across the five states, leading to 226% goal attainment for the fiscal year 2021. Boone topped the cake by ensuring package quality of 156 submitted applications to reflect a 45% selection rate to four year scholarships across 31 NROTC units - an unparalleled accomplishment.

    “I am humbled to be recognized,” shared Boone. “I appreciate the command [NTAG] for giving me a shot to run this program, and the opportunity to hone my skills, while I in turn help young men and women, future Navy leaders, achieve their educational goals.”

    Boone also credits his submariner background with shaping his working discipline.

    “From my standpoint, I was just doing my job at the highest level possible,” he explained. “I have never changed my work ethic from the time I was an Electronics Technician (Navigation) on the submarines, and had x amount of maintenance to complete, watch stations to stand, and qualifications to attain in the shortest time possible. I just took that drive and applied it in the recruiting and ROTC program.”

    Boone’s ability to assess objectives, expectations and goals and work above and beyond the given standard, was what gave him the competitive edge among national recruiters.

    Also carrying on the legacy of the hard-working silver dolphins community, another former submariner Lewison, a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, claimed the third award for the command. The list of Lewison’s accomplishments stretches at least two pages. The broad spectrum of innovations he brought to the NTAG Philadelphia and NRC directly affect the way recruiting is done today.

    “I was pleasantly surprised to be named the Innovator of the Year,” shared Lewison, who, just as Boone, is concentrating on the work at hand without a thought for accolades or recognition. “I just remember that what we as recruiters are doing is the first domino in National Defense. Every day we go to work might not be paying off in the immediately noticeable way, but it is what allows our children and families to continue to have a secure future five, 10, 20 years from now.”

    For Lewison, who is always working on implementing improvements in day-to-day recruiting and its digital systems, NTAG Philadelphia became a testing ground for new innovations and applications, which were recognized and picked up on the national level, enhancing user experiences for the recruiting force. And wherever recruiters had a problem, or needed a tool to improve a process, Lewison and his E-talent team worked out a solution.

    “If you see a problem and you have an idea how to fix it then try it,” explained Lewison. “If it doesn't work, try something else.”

    One of the big projects that Lewison proposed, and is already adopted in all of the NTAGs across the nation, is a version of a mobile gaming engagement vehicle. Lewison's initial concept served as a template for the current Mobile Engagement Vehicles (MEV) that are increasing Navy awareness and brand recognition, allowing another avenue into local events and improved customer experience for potential applicants.

    Whether it’s hard work, dedication to the customer service, prior experiences, or inquisitive and innovative minds, the success of these recruiters is infectious. And it is only a matter of time as new Sailors and their accomplishments bring NTAG Philadelphia, the underdog, in the lead in the years to come.

    NTAG Philadelphia encompasses regions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia, providing recruiting services from more than 30 talent acquisition sites.

    NRC consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 26 NTAGs, and 64 Talent Acquisition Onboarding Centers (TAOCs) that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations around the world. Their mission is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.

    With more than 330,000 active duty sailors, 290 deployable ships, more than 3,700 aircraft and dozens of bases in the U.S. and across the globe, America's Navy is the largest, most powerful naval force in the world. The opportunities available in today's Navy are as boundless as the sea itself. To learn more about the opportunities in the Navy visit



    Date Taken: 01.22.2022
    Date Posted: 01.24.2022 21:39
    Story ID: 413350
    Location: PHILADELPHIA, PA, US 
    Hometown: CHILLICOTHE, OH, US
    Hometown: UPPER DARBY, PA, US
    Hometown: VINELAND, NJ, US

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