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Shavalier, Morrison named Recruiters of the Year

By Julia Bobick/U.S. Army Recruiting Command Public Affairs

FORT KNOX, Ky. (TRADOC News Service, April 29, 2005) – Though their reasons for enlisting are quite different, the 2004 U.S. Army Recruiters of the Year, Sgts. 1st Class Dale Shavalier and David Morrison, share the same passion for the Army and for helping young people find their own paths to success as Soldiers.

Sgt. 1st Class Dale Shavalier, the active Army Recruiter of the Year from Raleigh Battalion, chose to enlist after high school because he wasn’t sure what he wanted for his life. He also knew that becoming a Soldier would make his family – especially his grandfather, a World War II veteran – very proud.

“The fact that I get to do something I love doing, and that it is honorable, is far better than any other job in the civilian community could offer,” said Shavalier, a recruiter in Fayetteville, N.C. “To top it off, the benefits and experiences I have been able to enjoy since enlisting have made me realize that I chose the right career path.”

Like many recruits in the late 1980s, Reserve Recruiter of the Year Sgt. 1st Class David Morrison of Montgomery Battalion joined for the college money. He said the opportunity to give back to his community was the main reason he volunteered to become a recruiter in 2001.

“I give young people the same opportunities that I had to start their lives and careers, gain experience and pay for college,” said Morrison, who recruits near his hometown in Anniston, Ala. Being a recruiter in his hometown has been helpful, but he said it wouldn’t matter where he was stationed – he “can talk to anyone, anywhere about the Army.”

The part Shavalier likes most about being a recruiter is the impact he has on people.
“I really thought just being in charge of Soldiers was great, but after serving as a recruiter, I can honestly say that I have never had a job where my opinion is more valued. When even one person tells me how much they appreciate what I have helped them achieve, it makes this job worth doing,” Shavalier said.

Both recruiters agree that every Soldier they enlist is special, and they have hundreds of recruit success stories to share.

One individual, however, who sticks in Morrison’s mind is a Soldier who enlisted a few years back. He was a top-notch high-school student and “has been an inspiration to others.” The Soldier, who still keeps in touch, was recently promoted to sergeant in Iraq, where he is deployed with his Reserve unit. Such recruits make Morrison proud to be a recruiter and help people every day.

Shavalier recalls the total transformation of a shy, scared young lady into a very confident, well-spoken Soldier.

“I received a phone call about three months after she left [for training]. She called just to tell me that she was grateful that I never gave up on her, and that the best decision she ever made was believing in me as her recruiter.”

In his Recruiter of the Year board essay, Shavalier said he’s not an exceptional recruiter, he just believes in himself, his job and the Army.

Within two years of being assigned to Recruiting Command, he had earned his gold badge, recruiter ring and the Morrell award – the Recruiting Command’s highest award.

“(Shavalier) is a self-starting go-getter with the drive to win,” said his company commander, Capt. Ryan R. Foxworth. “He does not know how to quit and displays the values of the whole command.”

Honesty and integrity are the keys to recruiting success, according Morrison.

“These are the keys to success in anything,” he said. “I tell everyone the Army story and what it has done for me, but also I tell them the tough and hard sides of it as well. They need to know what it is all about and what it means to be a Soldier. I am an American Soldier first and foremost. As a recruiter, I give people the opportunity to be part of my great team.”

In less than three years as a recruiter, Morrison earned both his gold badge and recruiter ring. He has his sights set on the Morrell Award and induction in the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.

Morrison “lives the Warrior Ethos daily. His proactive can-do spirit and eagerness to win have been infectious to those around him,” said Montgomery Battalion’s Command Sgt. Maj. Cory Olson.

Morrison and his wife of 10 years, Angie, have five children ages 3 to 12. He said that at times it is tough to balance his time between being a father and a recruiter. There are many times when his wife plays the role of mother and father.

“But my family is my life,” he said. “When I am at work, I am a Soldier and recruiter. When I am home, I am the greatest dad in the world – [my] kids always say – and a grateful husband. Angie is the reason I am where I am today. Her love, support and encouragement have been my strength.”

Planning quality time with family is difficult, agreed Shavalier, who also gives a great deal of the credit to his wife, Crystal.

“She is as much a Soldier as I am. Without her, I know I would not have been as successful in my career as I have,” Shavalier said.

He said constant family communication is crucial.

“My kids know about what my work day is like and why I do it. It is much easier when they understand our jobs so they can better understand why we are away much of the day. Sometimes the biggest highlight of my day is when my daughter gives me a snack to take to work. She says she does not want me to go hungry, follows it up with a hug and tells me to have good luck at work today. The little things make it work.

“The real reason I enjoy being a Soldier is that it’s what I believe in,” Shavalier said. “I want my children to have the same rights and choices we all have come to share. A Soldier provides that. I know of no other profession that would give me the same satisfaction.”

Sgt. 1st Class Dale Shavalier, active Army Recruiter of the Year

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Sgt. 1st Class David Morrison, Reserve Recruiter of the Year

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