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    Navy Recruiter Reaches Her Dreams


    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Lopez | 230318-N-GZ2777-0063 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 18, 2023) Religious Program Specialist...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Commander, Navy Recruiting Command

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mar. 20, 2023) - Every single person in the world has a dream. For one individual, the support of the U.S. Navy allowed her to reach her goals and strive toward achieving her dream.

    Religious Program Specialist 1st Class Gillian Figueroa, a native of Los Angeles, California, is assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Nashville’s Division 5, Navy Recruiting Station (NRS) in Bartlett.

    “I knew I was at a point in life where I had dreams and I just needed an opportunity to help me accomplish them,” said Figueroa.

    After completing her bachelor's degree from California State University, Los Angeles, Figueroa got a job teaching kindergarten in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although Figueroa enjoyed teaching, she knew she wanted to travel and needed assistance to further her own education. That’s when she decided to join the U.S. Navy.

    Figueroa enlisted in the Navy in the summer of 2018 and after completing boot camp and Religious Program Specialist “A” school, was stationed at Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic’s (COMNAVSURFLANT) Ministry Center. For the next three years, Figueroa provided support to 44 COMNAVSURFLANT commands and completed an eight month deployment aboard the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) in 2019.

    As her tour at COMNAVSURFLANT was coming to an end, Figueroa decided to reenlist and applied to special programs to be a Navy Recruiter.

    “Being in the Navy taught and gave me insight into so many resources that I wish someone would have informed me at an early age,” said Figueroa. “That’s what led me to become a recruiter.”

    Figueroa checked into NTAG Nashville in September 2021 and immediately tackled the challenges associated with recruiting. Figueroa stated that she struggled at first to put herself out there to connect with future Sailors, however, she quickly adjusted to the recruiting life becoming a driving force behind the success of NRS Bartlett and NTAG Nashville. As of March 2023 Figueroa has recruited a total of 33 Sailors into the Navy, accounting for 55% of NRS Bartlett’s mission.

    “The most rewarding part is knowing that there are people who come from the same initial background as I did and providing them the opportunity to better their life,” said Figueroa. “For some, joining the Navy is a lifeline and when I know that I am able to be part of helping someone better themselves, to me that’s what it is all about.”

    While at NTAG Nashville, Figueroa created new goals she wanted to accomplish during her tour. She wanted to advance to petty officer first class, get her recruiting qualifications, lead her own recruiting station, continue to go to school and buy a house. In her two years at NTAG Nashville, she has completed four out of five of those goals.

    “I pride myself in caring about the people I come across and the job that I do,” said Figueroa. “I came into recruiting to be that resource or opportunity that someone else might need to achieve their dreams.”

    On March 17, Figueroa was advanced to petty officer first class through the Navy’s Meritorious Advancement Program. Furthermore, she was selected as NTAG Nashville’s FY23 Junior Sailor of the Quarter, 1st Quarter. Also in March, Figueroa completed her Recruiter-in-Charge qualification and was hand-selected to re-open NRS Midtown in Memphis.

    “Figueroa stands out from her peers by the drive, determination, and follow through she puts forth with every task,” said Chief Navy Counselor Matthew Lopez, a Division Leading Chief Petty Officer at NTAG Nashville. “Her desire to win and help others become better, both professionally and personally, is unmatched. The professionalism that Figueroa exudes is that of a model Sailor and is for others to emulate.”

    After completing these goals, her new goals are to stay Navy, convert to a Navy Counselor (Recruiting Career Force), and obtain a master’s degree.

    NTAG Nashville includes 46 Navy recruiting stations across Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Georgia covering 138,000 square miles. NTAG Nashville employs over 200 recruiters, support personnel, and civilians in its mission to recruit individuals who meet standards for naval service. Follow NTAG Nashville on Facebook – NTAG Nashville.

    Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, and 26 Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 815 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: 03.24.2023
    Date Posted: 03.24.2023 12:43
    Story ID: 441144

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