EL PASO, Texas. – One of the unique ways a U.S. Army Reserve Soldier can make a difference after returning from their initial entry training is as a hometown recruiter. Spc. Alexis Chacon, a 42A with the 77th Quartermaster Group, headquartered here, was excited to assist in her hometown of El Paso, TX.
“I just wanted the experience,” said Chacon. “I wanted to build my communication skills. I wanted to learn how to put myself out there and be able to explain the Army Reserve to someone.”
The Hometown Recruiter Assistance Program allows enlisted Soldiers who have recently completed initial entry training to return to their hometowns to assist the local recruiters by sharing their Army training experiences with family, friends, high school classmates, Future Soldiers, veterans, and community leaders.
This is the second time Chacon has been on orders to participate in HRAP. A few weeks ago she had the opportunity to return Bel Air High School, where she graduated a few years ago to talk with students and teachers about her experiences.
“We went to Bel Air and did presentations for all of the seniors that were graduating,” said Chacon. “We went out and talked about all the benefits, things like education benefits.”
Like most high school seniors, Chacon had fears and concerns before she reported to her initial entry training in 2016 in Fort Jackson, SC. She said that is was interesting to hear some of the students share the same kinds of fears she had when she was joining.
“One guy said he was afraid of leaving his family behind,” shared Chacon. “When I started my mom didn’t want me to leave, and I knew I’d miss her, but everyone is going through the same thing. It’s teamwork to get through it together.”
The full-time recruiters love when they have Soldiers return to be hometown recruiters. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Stepan, a recruiter with the El Paso Recruiting Company, said they talk to all the recruits about coming back.
“We offer it every time we have an enlistment,” said Stepan. “We ask them to come back because they have the knowledge and know first hand what the Army is doing at their level.”
He said that hometown recruiters can really relate with the high school students and address their questions and concerns in a unique way. He was glad Chacon could help talk directly with the students they met with.
“She went through boot camp and AIT (advanced individual training), and she has a fresh knowledge about how it is right now,” said Stepan. “She knows how things affect seniors from education to finances, not only in the military but as a civilian as well, because she is in the Army Reserve, and she loves it!”
In addition to serving in a U.S. Army Reserve unit right here in El Paso, Chacon is hoping to do even more to help her community. This morning she was testing for admittance into the El Paso Police department.
“One thing I like about El Paso is the people,” said Chacon. “Everyone knows each other. The community is really close, so if I can be out there protecting them on the police force and I can be serving here in the Reserve, it is something I want to do. I want to maintain our community the way it is.”
The U.S. Army Reserve is always on the lookout for citizens who want to make a difference in their communities and our Nation. If you have what it takes to become a Soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve head to https://goarmy.com/reserve to see all the opportunities available or talk to a local recruiter.
The 77th Quartermaster Group is a part of the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary). The command is made up of Soldiers, civilians and their families in units headquartered throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. As part of America’s Army Reserve, these units are trained, combat-ready and equipped to provide military and logistical support in any corner of the globe.
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