Military recruiters are here to help

Jake Urbanski, Sports Page Editor

From time to time, military recruiters will visit the school during lunches. They set up a table with different memorabilia and packets for students interested in the military. One group that comes to the school is the US Army Harrisonburg Recruiting Center.

Staff Sergeant James Torbett has been serving with Army for almost eight years. Originally Sergeant Torbett was a cavalry scout and performed reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance, but then he came down on orders to become a recruiter. He has been recruiting and visiting schools since July 14, 2014.

“Our goal for coming to Harrisonburg High School… and with all the schools around is just to build rapport with the students, help out in the community and get our our name and face out there, to where we are not just recruiters that are trying to take kids and put them in the Army or take individuals and put them in the Army, and send them off to War. We are actually here to help and we care about your futures, we don’t want you to be unsuccessful,” Torbett said.

Part of the recruiter’s job is to make sure that they prepare their recruits for the Army. They make sure that they are physically fit and have the basic skills to succeed in the Army.

“We stay in contact with [the recruits] at least once a week. Generally, we like to get involved in their lives and help them grow professionally, prior to them leaving. We don’t want them to just come in, join the army and then teach them nothing before they leave. We want them to be prepared and know what they are fully getting into,” Torbett said.

In addition to professional growth, recruiters also prepare prospects physically. This is done through the future soldier program.

“We do physical training with them, that’s at future soldier training. We give them training on land navigation, [and] medical training on our first aid. [We teach] basic general Army knowledge, so a 24 hour clock or military time, phonetic alphabet, the Army rank structure. We just give them a broad overview of Army knowledge, that way they are better prepared,” Torbett said.