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    From Zero to Hero

    NTAG Phoenix Recruiter in the Spotlight

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Breum | 230330-N-LN093-1003 PHOENIX (May 16, 2023) U.S. Navy Fire Controlman 1st Class Dylan...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Breum 

    Commander, Navy Recruiting Command

    PHOENIX – (May 16, 2023) Choosing a career path at a young age can be one of the most intricate decisions a young adult has to make. For Fire Controlman 1st Class Dylan Devalk, a native of Tucson, Arizona, that burden was lifted after accompanying a friend into a U.S. Navy recruiting office.
    “I joined the Navy when I was 21 years old,” said Dylan “I was working, but not really doing anything with my life at that point. I was working at the local movie theater, only making like $550 every two weeks as a senior assistant manager with no advancement opportunities. One day my buddy, who also worked at the movie theater, was like, ‘I want to try out this air rescue program. Would you go down with me?’ I agreed to go with him because I thought it was kind of scary going into a recruiting office alone.”
    After a short pause and with a nostalgic, yet proud, look on his face Devalk continued. “Man, that was in 2014. I was a door kicker. I learned everything the Navy had to offer me. I was sold in a heartbeat. The Navy basically sells itself to me.”
    Devalk explained that his experience when joining the Navy has influenced the way he interacts with his applicants. That when talking to young men and women, especially 17-to-21 year olds, he tries to make the process as transparent as possible.
    “I was once in their shoes,” said Devalk. “I walked through the recruiter’s door. I know it's daunting to walk through the door at a recruiting office, to think that the recruiter will make you sign paperwork that will send you to boot camp. So I try to make the process as informative and transparent as I can. Dealing with human nature is what makes recruiting totally different than the rest of the Navy.”
    Petty Officer Devalk, assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group Phoenix, Navy Recruiting Station Queen Creek, was named the Navy Recruiting Command fiscal year 2022 National Enlisted Recruiter of the Year.
    “My first year recruiting I felt flat in my face,” said Devalk. “I got the lowest evaluation of my entire Navy career and that kind of dug deep into my pride.”
    He added that he expected a lower evaluation since he had arrived at the command 6 months earlier and fell short of his contract goal. After receiving his evaluation, he realized that he needed to make changes. That he needed to quickly figure out what he was doing wrong and how to improve.
    “I took a step back, reevaluated, and did some self-reflection. I also received advice from my Chief, my LPO [Leading Petty Officer], and other experienced recruiters from my division,” said Devalk. “That’s when everything started to click for me. I focused on building trust with all my applicants. More important, I started to build trust with the career counselors and faculty members of the high schools I was assigned to. I started, especially during school year, investing a lot more time at the high schools, at least from 09:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, talking to people and just building those relationships. Because once they trust you, then they know that you'll take care of the students.”
    “And then the very next year, I was Recruiter of the Year,” said Devalk. “From zero to hero, I guess. I was in my car driving back from a high school when I received a call from the Chief recruiter. The commanding officer and the rest of the command leaders were on also on the call. They said I had won National Recruiter of the Year and that I was going to the Army vs. Navy football game. I cried, man. It was an impactful moment for me because of everything I went through. All the hard work. The stress. All the hardships I endured. It was just very liberating, like a huge weight was removed from my shoulders. It’s hard to describe all the emotions I felt at that moment.”
    Devalk mentioned that his family is what pushes him to never give up and be successful. That even though he is married with kids, making his dad proud is the biggest drive for him.
    “The biggest influence in my life is my dad,” said Devalk. “I took it for granted a lot of times, you know, the things that he was trying to teach me. Once I joined the Navy, he was always super proud. I want to keep making him proud. He has always been the first person I call when I accomplish anything and he tells me; ‘Jesus Christ. Like, what can't you do?’”
    “I am going to continue to work hard to accomplish all my goals,” said Devalk. “My biggest goal is to one day be a senior Chief. And I tell my applicants and future Sailors. At the end of the day, the Navy is going to move on with or without us. What are you going to gain out of it?”
    Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, two 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.



    Date Taken: 05.25.2023
    Date Posted: 05.25.2023 18:25
    Story ID: 445629
    Location: PHOENIX, AZ, US 

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