Maine Ranger Earns Top Honors in National Recruiting Competition
January 23, 2015 » By Sgt. First Class Peter Morrison
"I will shoulder more than my share of the task, whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some." These are words etched into the U.S. Army Ranger Creed and a sentence that one Soldier with the Maine Army National Guard takes very seriously." (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. First Class Peter Morrison, 121st Public Affairs Detachment).
"I will shoulder more than my share of the task, whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some." These are words etched into the U.S. Army Ranger Creed and a sentence that one Soldier with the Maine Army National Guard takes very seriously.
In 2009, Staff Sgt. Nathaniel McCray was the first enlisted Soldier from the MEARNG ranks to complete the US Army Ranger Course and earn the esteemed title. Since then he has tried to live up to the creed and that one sentence resonates loudly within him.
McCray was recently selected as the Region One recipient of the Directors 54 Award. Named for the 54 States and territories the award given is to the top Recruiting and Retention NCO at the regional and national level based on recruiting production, community service and professional Soldiering criteria.
After winning the state award, he outperformed all the New England states and New York to represent region one at the National level in the District of Columbia. McCray did not win, but Command. Sgt. Maj. Stacy Hafford said McCray did an outstanding job throughout the entire process.
This was McCray's first year as a recruiter," Hafford said. "He effortlessly managed his time to build contacts throughout the community and strived to cultivate influential relationships. He prided himself in finding top quality enlistments and exceeding goals. Of all of his accomplishments, the most noteworthy was his ability to step into the role of Station Commander, and accept a team mission that was reserved for three seasoned recruiters."
McCray said that besides earning the award and coming close to winning nationwide, the most rewarding part is the time he spent with his team as the station commander. "They put me in charge of the station with two untrained recruiters and the biggest most rewarding feeling is that everyone on my team succeeded," said McCray. "We were able to pull in the most enlistments out of any other recruiting station, which is pretty good for guys with no recruiting training."
As an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, McCray understands the value of the people around him. "The Army embodies team. You don't get to be the best at anything without a great supporting staff," said McCray who credits that teamwork to his success in being selected for the Directors 54 award.
here hasn't been a winner in the state of Maine for the past 10 years. McCray said he is thankful to be recognized and hopes that this inspires his peers to reach out and set goals. This is a great way to lead by example and inspires others to raise the bar. He knows Maine can win it again.
"Mainers are known for their hard work ethic and we have been raised to do our best we are driven by tradition and pride in the state, said McCray. Some of the greatest units in the world have come from Maine and we have consistently shown that it's not just a coincidence."
As a recruiter, Soldier, father or Ranger, McCray has chosen to shoulder more than his share of the task and said that "being the best at everything is really unrealistic but it's important to keep striving for that top tier." He said he will continue to try to live up to the last line of the Ranger Creed in all aspects of his life; "Rangers Lead the Way."