Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pacific Spotlight: Rosalito Corillo

Stars and Stripes Pacific edition
Petty Officer 1st Class Rosalito Corilla
Job: Recruiter, Naval Recruiting Processing Station Far East, Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan

Pacific readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Call Paul Newell at Stars and Stripes with the person’s name and contact information at DSN 229-3158 or e-mail him at:

Rosalito, if you’re from the Philippines, how did you come to join the Navy?
Under the Philippine National Enlistment Program, which was a special agreement between the U.S. Navy and the Philippines.

Was it difficult to join?
Oh yes. During the time I joined, 600 of us were applying for six U.S. Navy positions. We took the ASVB test, and only 33 of us remained. The same day, we had the English language interview with three recruiters, one master chief and two first-class petty officers. We waited 30 minutes for the selection, and from that number, only six of us were allowed to join the Navy that day. It took six months of processing, and then I had to take the ASVB again and the physical exam.

When did the Navy stop allowing Philippine natives into the military?
The agreement between the United States and Philippines ended in 1992 after Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base closed down, which happened because of two events — the rupture of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, which destroyed Clark Air Base and severely damaged Subic Bay, and the failure of the U.S. and the Philippine government to reach a base-extension agreement.

Were you sad to leave the Philippines?
Not really, but the day I left was interesting. There was a coup d’etat the day we left, as the military was trying to take over the country, so we had to change flight plans and flew from Subic Bay to Clark Air Base to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa to Anchorage, Alaska, to L.A. to San Diego. Then I had to show up to boot camp. Luckily, I already knew my 11 general orders.

What has been you favorite thing since joining the Navy?
Actually, being a recruiter. I have been able to help young kids achieve the same dream I did by putting them in the Navy.

What is the area of responsibility for Naval Recruiting Processing Station Far East?
Along with mainland Japan, we cover South Korea, Taiwan, Okinawa and Singapore. We actually spend a lot of time traveling.

Do you have a monthly quota?
We don’t call it quota anymore. We call them goals. It’s three a month.

How have you done on your goals?
In 2007, I was given the Master Chief Bakarian Award for the distinction of being the best rookie recruiter for the Navy Recruiting District, Los Angeles, which Yokosuka falls under.

Why do you think you are so successful?
Honestly, part of the reason is because I know the area so well. Even though I can’t go outside the gate and recruit Japanese, I was stationed here before, and I am involved with the base community and know a lot of the parents here.

What’s the most important characteristic of a recruiter?
Patience. You have to have patience and perseverance. If you are talking to an applicant who says that they aren’t interested in joining the Navy, a few months later they might change their minds, but you might not know unless you follow up with them.

Is it difficult to join the Navy today?
To join the Navy, you have to be morally, mentally and medically qualified. It’s not like the old days when the guys standing before the judge had the choice of doing jail time or joining the military. Now they must have clean records and meet stronger criteria.

What do you like to do in your off time?
I like to go to the library and read about Philippine history, especially Philippine national heroes.


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