Military recruiters visit during lunch


Katie Wong

Marine Corps recruiter, Michael Hemberlain, displays his presentation to students at lunch on Oct. 6.

Katie Wong, Staff Writer

Military recruiters have returned to schools to teach students about the armed forces. The recruiters set up tables during lunch with the separate branches on different days.

“Being back in the schools specifically is a benefit, not only to the recruiters but to the young-minded individuals,” said Marine Corps recruiter Michael Hemberlain.

Due to COVID-19, military recruiting stations shut down over the course of 2020 and only started to open up towards the end of the 2020-2021 school year. 

According to WUSA9, the leading newspaper for Washington, D.C., “In the early days of the pandemic, Army enlistments fell off by about 50%.” 

Recruiters struggled to connect with individuals strictly using virtual methods, not able to display the information required for recruitment as easily as in-person. 

“Not being able to contribute towards our community takes away how others can see and visualize the Army as a great contributor towards students and their activities in Ocean Lakes,” said Army Sergeant Jevon Cox. “These challenges itself have been slowly getting better as the Army stands and supports the safety and concern for the health of others”. 

Military recruiters are required to follow social distancing protocols and wear masks when interacting with students. 

“I schedule myself to at least visit twice a month for a table display. Other added times can be through Ocean Lakes sporting competitions, clubs, volunteer activities, or classroom presentations requested by teachers and students,” said Cox.

Recruiters will set up table displays throughout the entire school year. Recruiting stations are open daily, with several located on Lynnhaven Parkway. Talking to a recruiter is the first step to joining the military. Their job is to teach potential recruits what the military offers and help them find their preferred career path. 

“I like to offer the students of Ocean Lakes High School that the Army can pay for their college education, choose any career ranging from Engineering, Aviation, Medical, Computer Science, Mechanical, etc, and as well as building experience to establish a strong resume for their future,” said Cox.