MOBILE, Ala. --
8411, it is a number that should be etched into the mind of every single Marine who has ever has served in the Marine Corps. It is the military occupational specialty code for the Marine recruiter. Recruiters wear many hats in regards to their job, they are the main point of friction between the Marine Corps and the American public, they honor the traditions of those came before them but most importantly the find the most qualified candidates who are worthy of wearing the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor.
To Staff Sgt. Mallory Kirk these are the roles that not only shape the kind of recruiter she aims to be but the kind of person that molded her into the woman she is today.
“I’ve been on this duty for a year and ten months,” said Kirk, a recruiter with recruiting substation Mobile. “It’s definitely a challenging change of roles going from a non-commissioned officer in the fleet with junior Marines to coming out on this duty. When you’re in the fleet your always around like-minded individuals to coming out here where the nearest official Marine Corps Base is 2 States away.”
Her own journey into the Marine Corps is one that resonates with a majority of the Marines that have served since the beginning of the nations beloved Corps. A desire to be different and to stand apart from its sister services. To friend and foe alike the Marine Corps has made an impression on the world stage since its inception.
“I always knew I wanted to serve in the military from a young age,” recalled Kirk. “I have family members in all other branches, but I was the first Marine. Since I’ve been in I’ve been stationed far from home but being in the Marine Corps it just feels like one big extended family that I can always lean on as well.”
As part of that big family, people of all different religions, ethnicities, backgrounds, cultures and creeds are attracted to the Marine Corps for their own reasons but at the end of the day, the uniform makes everyone equal.
“When I first checked into the fleet I was the only female in my shop,” recalled Kirk. “I’ve only had great experiences in the Marine Corps as a female I’ve never been treated better or worse than my male counterparts. One of the reasons I’ve stayed in as long as I have is because I was always treated equally.”
Kirk met her now wife while stationed aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Together for almost five and married for three she credits her wife with navigating the sometimes troubling waters that is involved in recruiting.
“Her dad retiring from the Navy actually helps a lot because she’s used to this kind of lifestyle,” said Kirk. “She’s always been super supportive of my career even though that this lifestyle is still equally as hard for spouses and for that I am very grateful.”
As time goes on and as she is slated to take over as the station commander for RSS Mobile, Kirk has big plans for her future as she continues her career.
“My favorite part of being a Marine is mentoring and leading those junior Marines,” said Kirk. “That’s probably the most rewarding part of not only being a recruiter but the lifestyle that comes with being a Marine.”