Story by Cmdr. Curtis Brown
Navy Talent Acquisition Group Portland Executive Officer
PORTLAND, Ore. – On the eastern flanks of the Central Oregon Cascade Mountains is the small town of Tumalo, Oregon. With roughly 450 people and bathed in the natural beauty of dormant conical volcanoes, Tumalo is a stone’s throw away from the Three Sisters Wilderness and some of the premier ski and snowboard resorts in the state.
“When I was in high school, I wanted to be a photographer,” recalls Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Electrical) 1st Class Curtis Markle. However, his dream of being able to capture the world through his lens faded into the reality of working several jobs to support himself, but he knew there had to be more out there for him.
“Most of the people in my high school ended up in landscaping or construction. I worked at least two jobs throughout high school, and was working three jobs when I joined the Navy,” he says. “The Navy recruiting office was right next to my old job, so one day I just walked in,” Markle recalled. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted into the Navy.
Now, with over five years of professional experience in the U.S. Navy, Markle has returned to Oregon, serving as a recruiter at Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Portland.
Growing up in the mountains of Central Oregon, he never considered the possibility of coming back to his home state as part of the Navy. However, after enlisting and having the chance to see much of the rest of the world, Markle found himself stationed back in the Pacific Northwest. When asked whether he thought there was any chance he would ever end up back in Oregon, let alone within 120 miles of his hometown, Markle simply replied, “zero.”
As a talent scout for NTAG Portland, Markle enjoys interacting and connecting with members of the Eugene, Oregon community and being able to change people’s lives daily. As someone who held odd jobs prior to joining the Navy, Markle wanted to help people with similar backgrounds and show them options they have besides working three jobs.
His adventure as an active duty Sailor began in 2014, and he soon moved to San Diego, California for his first tour onboard USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), where he earned several promotions in rank and served as leading petty officer and work center supervisor in his engineering division. A technical expert in multi-million dollar gas turbine engines, gauge calibration, and an outstanding leader, Markle has also traveled the world extensively.
“Guam, Hawaii, Mazatlán, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and South Korea,” he mentions of the places he has had an opportunity to see while onboard his ship. Perhaps the best part of all, “I’ve gotten to take pictures throughout the world,” Markle notes about his original dream to become a photographer.
His performance as a Navy recruiter and his ability to change the lives of the people in his community have earned him the high praise of his supervisors. “What makes Markle an outstanding recruiter is the passion he has to get the job done daily and his positive attitude he carries while doing it. He is a very confident recruiter and, when tasked with a goal to accomplish, he exceeds it with no problem at all,” mentioned his detachment director, Chief Navy Counselor Catrina Wright. “He is a self-starter and strives to be the best despite any challenges that come his way. He is one of the most energetic recruiters in our detachment and is rising to the top at a fast pace.”
Markle works tirelessly to assist people in similar situations he was once in to achieve their career goals. When asked if there were any pieces of advice, he would pass down to the young adults in his hometown, he explained, “There’s a big world outside Tumalo, Oregon. Though a lot of young people don’t leave, there’s a lot to grow from and conquer.” Markle explained how the center of his philosophy is to help smaller towns by giving their citizens opportunities to learn new skills, establish careers, and ultimately, return as accomplished young adults, ready to give back to their communities.
“Tumalo has grown quite a bit since I left, but it still has great snow,” Markle remarked. This winter, he’s excited to go snowboarding at Mount Bachelor, the mountain he grew up in the shadows of and home of the slopes he has now returned to as a Navy Sailor.
NTAG Portland encompasses over 270,000 square miles of territory throughout the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, and California, providing recruiting services from 19 recruiting stations, with the overall goal of attracting the highest quality candidates to ensure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, 16 Navy Recruiting Districts, and 10 Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,330 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System Hub (www.didvshub.net). The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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