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    Be My Guest: Recruits Bring Guests to RSP Drill

    Let's Get in Formation

    Photo By Sgt. Taylor Cleveland | New recruits of the Mississippi Army National Guard learn drill and ceremony during...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Renee Seruntine 

    102d Public Affairs Detachment

    The Mississippi Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion is on the hunt for Soldiers, implementing a variety of methods for engaging and educating new recruits and others who are interested in serving.

    One strategy employed by MSARNG recruiters is to bring prospective recruits they meet at universities to an Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP) drill so they can observe the process in action and ask any questions they may have of current recruits and Soldiers regarding the advantages and their experiences.

    The Army’s Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP) itself is not new. New recruits attend as preparation before getting shipped off to Basic Combat Training (BCT). During RSP drill weekends, new recruits are introduced to BCT concepts and what to expect so they can be well prepared mentally, physically, emotionally, and administratively for their future in the Guard. RSP drills give new recruits an opportunity to start getting comfortable with the terminology and protocols that are part of Guard service while also earning pay for the time spent at RSP. The new guest strategy has helped to pull in additional recruits.

    “We’ll go to a school and invite a recruit as a guest for drill so they can see what it’s like and talk with other college students and new Soldiers about the benefits,” said Staff Sgt. Cody Barber, MSARNG recruiter with Jackson State’s Tiger Battalion ROTC program. “I think it’s been a really successful method as we had three guests come today, so inviting them to visit does work.”

    Devon Walker, a guest who attended an RSP drill found out about the program through a friend who had just graduated BCT.

    “I have been wanting to join the Army since I was 15 years old,” said Walker. “My friend told me it’s a good process; they’ll teach me everything I need to know to get prepared for college, as I’ll be in the Army and go to college at the same time.”

    Walker is preparing to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to become a mechanic in the Army.

    Social media has become another method recruiters use to catch the attention of and communicate with potential recruits who show interest and have questions. Utilizing this tool has been a beneficial method to set up face-to-face meetings via direct messages with those who are eager to know more but didn’t necessarily know how or where to get information.

    “The most significant approach we utilize now is social media,” said Barber. “We realize that social media has a great impact on a lot of young individuals. I make certain videos to post on TikTok to grab their attention and start a discussion.”

    Pvt. Jekyla Bilbrew, a 17-year-old from Jackson, is a success story in the making. After recently joining the MSARNG and completing BCT, she feels she is now on track.

    “I was talking with a friend who was joining and I looked into it and felt that it was something that I needed for more discipline, having direction in my life and set an example to my younger sibling who is joining the Air Force,” said Bilbrew. “I want to be apart of something bigger in the world and that has a good cause. I intend to go to college for accounting and go through the ROTC route.”

    Bilbrew is informing her friends and colleagues who have questions and motivating them to join as well.

    “Ever since I got back from basic training, I have friends asking me questions about joining,” said Bilbrew. “Our generation needs this discipline and needs to understand there’s more to the world.”



    Date Taken: 08.12.2023
    Date Posted: 09.09.2023 14:37
    Story ID: 453051

    Web Views: 261
    Downloads: 0