DVIDS – News – RTC staff in the spotlight: ABH1 Benjamin Smith

Meet ABH1 Benjamin Smith! He is currently #RecruitDivisionCommand at #RecruitTrainingCommand, the only #BootCamp of #Navy

“My favorite part about being a CDR is watching these recruits grow up and start making decisions on their own and taking initiatives. Responsibility is the big part for me, anytime they can admit they made a mistake and learned from their mistake instead of trying to cover it up I think that’s pretty good.

As #AviationBoatswainsMate, Smith worked as a yellow shirt in one of the Navy’s most dangerous offices, the aircraft carrier‘s flight deck, a place of absolute responsibility. His deployments on the #USSGeorgeWashington and #USSTheodoreRoosevelt aircraft carriers have given him a hard-earned wisdom and experience that he constantly tries to pass on to his recruits.

“In the fleet, it’s really important that if you’re wrong or if you’re not sure what you’re doing, you let someone know. You don’t want things to snowball into a bigger problem that results in either loss of equipment or, worse yet, death.

Much like on the flight deck, Smith says being a ROC is a big responsibility that ultimately comes down to being able to trust those with whom you serve. Earning the trust of his recruits is a process he takes very seriously.

“I feel the rookies look at me like a big brother. After the fourth or fifth week, they see that I care about them and they will start to open up about things. They really cling to every little word I say. So I have to be very careful with the words I choose. If I tear them down, I feel like I have to rebuild them because they really care a lot about what they’re doing here.

The hands-on, personal approach came from one of Smith’s leaders and mentors at a previous command during his career.

“CMC Andrew Hochgraver is one of my mentors. I was an executive assistant for him in Naples for about seven months and he really inspired me. I got to see what was going on behind the scenes and how he really cared about his sailors as a leader at his level, it was really revealing and rewarding for me. He is one of the people who inspired me to become DRC and he made me want to try to walk the same path as him one day as a CMC.

For Smith, his mantra of caring for the sailors in his care also relates to the most important thing in his life, his family.

“I’m just a big family guy. I have missed my family every day of my 10 years in the Navy. But it is for a purpose and a reason. My biggest personal goal of being in the Navy and being a RDC right now is to make my family proud. I know I put sailors who can go out and serve this nation and protect everyone I love back home. For me, it goes beyond just having a recruit who gets a good exercise score or a good inspection score. Are the recruits I send from here good people and good sailors who will help protect my family and this nation? I believe they are.


Date taken: 07/14/2021
Date posted: 07.14.2021 12:51
Story ID: 400880
Location: GREAT LAKES, Illinois, United States

Web Views: 144
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