Whitehall, Ohio –
In celebration of Women’s History Month, three female Army recruiters from different recruiting offices throughout Ohio, met at the Columbus Recruiting Battalion in Whitehall, Ohio March 10, 2021 for a panel discussion on the impact women have on the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve. The discussion allowed the recruiters to share their experiences and educate future female Soldiers on the importance of following their dreams.
“I hope that future Soldiers can take away from this discussion that they can do what they set their mind to,” said Staff Sergeant Kayla Stock, an Army recruiter with the Western Hills Army Recruiting Station in Cincinnati, Ohio. “I came into the Army at 17 years old, so I had to grow mentally before eventually becoming a noncommissioned officer. You’re going to be faced with different situations and you’re going to have to learn how to react to those situations. I was determined when I met with my recruiter, my dad was in the Army so I knew it was what I wanted to do.”
For many high school students, the thought of serving in the Army can be intimidating. There are many barriers that future Soldiers may face when hoping to enlist. Among those barriers, doubt can sometimes be a major obstacle to overcome.
“When I joined the Army, my family told me I wouldn’t make it,” said Staff Sergeant Lakisha Gibson, An Army recruiter out of the Columbus East U.S. Army Recruiting Center in Columbus, Ohio. “When I told my older brother that I joined the Army he was upset with me, but when my family showed up for my basic training graduation they were so proud. It was very motivational.”
Sergeant Rosilyn Stallworth, an Active Guard Reserve Soldier from Evergreen, Alabama came to the Huber Heights Army Recruiting Station in Huber Heights, Ohio to help educate future Soldiers on the importance of being aware of the opportunities available in the Army, not just for them, but for their family as well. “I joined the Army as a single parent,” Stallworth said. “I had twins when I was 18 years old. When they turned one, I walked into the recruiting station. They didn’t have to convince me.”
The three recruiters that participated in the panel all concurred that serving in the Army is not always easy, like in any career they have faced many challenges. The important thing is not giving up and continuing to motivate the future Soldiers they recruit by building rapport and communicating.
“Being able to relate to your Soldiers helps you get through to them,” Stock said during the discussion. “All of us come from different walks of life. There are going to be tough times, especially during basic training, but easier times will come.”
“Everyone is not going to have the same experiences,” Gibson followed-up. “That’s why when I talk to my Soldiers I tell them that if they don’t like something they should tell me what we can do to change it. Not what they can do or what I can do, but what we can do.”
“Being a good communicator is important,” said Stallworth. “I don’t always have the answers, but I want Soldiers to know that I can learn from them as well.”