Speaker 1: My name is Staff Sgt. Adam Folger, and I'm the station commander of the Waltham recruiting station. When an applicant first comes in for an initial appointment, the first thing I ask them after we, you know, we talk for a little bit and I try to get to know the applicant — is I ask them what their short- and long-term goals are, where they see themselves in 5 to 10 years now. "If you could have the ideal job in life, then what would it be?" Then I try to explain to them exactly what the Army does in Active Duty and the Reserves. And I see if either one is a good fit for them.
Speaker 2: My name is Chris Jannis. I've been talking to the Army about joining as a bridge crew member. It's been something I've been interested in for the past five years or so.
Speaker 3: Hi. My name is Sgt. 1st Class William Maldonado. I am a U.S. Army recruiter, also Reserve recruiter here in Waltham.
Speaker 1: When we make the appointment — I have all my recruiters do this — is I have them tell the applicant over the phone before they come in to write down any questions that are important to them so that way they don't forget them when they do come in. It's a lot different talking over the phone. They might not be as nervous. They haven't met us yet. They come in, and they forget about all the questions that they wanted to ask.
Speaker 3: They want to know about travel, where they can go, where they might be sent. Education benefits. A lot of people come in here with student loans that need to be repaid, and the Army could be an option for that. So there's a number of questions people ask us.
Speaker 2: I had an idea of where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do with the Army, so it was just a matter of understanding exactly what all of my options were and making sure that I was making the best decision for myself.
Speaker 3: Come in here prepared. Write down a list of questions of what that job might entail. And we also ask them to write down pros and cons of coming into the Army. And then we help them through making the choice.
Speaker 1: I encourage them to go home and talk to family members, significant others. In most cases, I will suggest that, for the follow-up appointment, they have their significant other whose, you know, opinion means the most to them, to come in with them. Or, I go sit with them at their house or wherever they'd like to meet — so that way they have that extra support, added support — knowing that the decision that they're making to enlist will be the right one.
Speaker 2: We're moving at a pace that I'm comfortable with, and I think that the recruiters are able to kind of read, and judge what each person needs and understand, you know, how to work with each individual person so that we're comfortable with the process and that we're only doing things when we're ready to do them.
Speaker 1: From the time an applicant enlists — the day they sign their contract — until the day they ship to Basic Training, they're in what's called the Future Soldier Program. During that time, we're going to work with them and get them ready for Basic Training, whether it be physical training — push-ups, run, sit-ups, exercise, things of that nature. And then we have some classes that we can help them work on that will help get them promoted; they can earn a promotion while they're in the Future Soldier Program.
Speaker 2: The whole thing has been a much more pleasant experience than I expected it to be. And I think that's really the most important thing that the recruiters really show that they want to work with you rather than saying, "This is what we've got; this is what you're going to take," which is what I think a lot of people expect when they first walk in. So, overall, it's been a much easier experience, and they've made the whole thing, you know, from paperwork to taking the test, a pleasant experience overall.