Staff Sergeant Joseph Reinitz is seeking the best and brightest for the U.S.
Army, but the 24-year-old recruiter can’t be found on doorsteps seeking the sons of worried mothers.
Reinitz said that’s not the way the U.S. Army recruits these days.
“The nation has a different mindset now,” Reinitz, Olathe, said. “Now, we try to take them and give (recruits) an opportunity to build their own future.”
Fred Hermstein, Gardner, said recruiters now seek soldiers similar to the way large corporations recruit talent. Hermstein is retired from the Army, but now serves as a civilian public affairs coordinator for the army.
“There’s no more sales training,” Hermstein explained.
Baby-faced and approachable, Reinitz began his career in the military when he was 17 years-old. Originally from St. Louis, Reinitz was first stationed in Ft. Bragg, NC as part of the 82nd Airborne. He has been deployed overseas several times, including a humanitarian deployment to Haiti and five months in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and several months in Iraq as part of a personal security detachment for the commander in charge of efforts in Baghdad.
His current responsibilities are a far cry from his first years as an active member of the U.S. Army.
Reinitz now serves recruitment post in Olathe.
Instead of worrying about ammunition, weaponry and security, Reinitz worries now about finding the best recruits for roles in the service. It’s a two-sided effort. He’s looking for individuals who will be the right match for specific, available army jobs. At the same time, he’s seeking to find the best opportunities for education and career skills for the individuals joining the service.
The G.I. Bill has long assisted service men and women in going to school.
For example, the Partnership for Youth Success (PAYS) program assists soldiers in finding civilian jobs. The army works with a variety of organizations including the Kansas Highway Patrol and various entities to guarantee interviews for soldiers.
Reinitz said it doesn’t guarantee jobs, but it does open the employment door.
“If you take care of the army, it’s going to take care of you,” Reinitz explained.
Reinitz’ specific role at the Olathe recruitment office is getting aspiring soldiers mentally and physically prepared for basic training.
“We do everything we can so they are successful once they get to basic training,” he said.
It’s more mentoring the salesmanship, he explained.
“I’m trying to help future soldiers. They come to our office and get a feel for what it’s like to be a part of a team or a family,” he said.
He also helps future soldiers pick the kind of job they want in the military. When they sign-up, recruits can choose their roles. Some jobs take soldiers to the front lines, but others are supporting roles like equipment maintenance, logistics and engineering. It’s not all shooting and fighting, though that was Reinitz’ choice when he first signed up.
“I grew up on a farm hunting and shooting,” he explained. “The infantry was good for that, but my mom was worried the whole time.”
They may choose their jobs, but soldiers don’t get to choose where they’re stationed. The jobs are specific to locations. For example, if an active soldier wants to be in an airborne unit, they will be stationed in North Carolina or Italy.
“That’s where they’re based,” Reinitz said.
Those enlisting in the U.S. Army Reserves must choose a job that has a station within 50 miles of where they live. Locally, for example, Reinitz is looking for reservists who want to do aircraft power plant repair and hydraulics repair. Both jobs are stationed at New Century.
Ideally, Reinitz said he’s seeking people who want to improve themselves.
“If they’re ready to do it, we’re going to put as much effort into it as they do,” Reinitz said.