Cherry Hill-based medical recruiter honored by U.S. Army

Sgt. 1st Class Tamarris Jenkins was one of 13 recruiters recognized at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes Feb. 4.

Photo by Lara Poirrier Special to the Sun: Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper, Undersecretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James McConville and U.S. Army Recruiting commanding general Maj. Gen. Frank Muth recognized the top recruiters in the Army in a ceremony at the Pentagon Hall of Heroes Feb. 4. Sgt. 1st Class Tamarris Jenkins is one of more than 9,000 recruiters around the world who helped the U.S. Army hire more than 80,000 individuals for full-time and part-time careers in the active Army and Army Reserve in 2018.

A Cherry Hill-based medical recruiter was one of the U.S. Army’s top 13 recruiters recognized by Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes Feb. 4.

Sgt. 1st Class Tamarris Jenkins helped board 11 individuals into careers in the U.S. Army between October and December 2018, making him one of the top two medical recruiters in the country.

Jenkins has served for 20 years and says he joined the Army to instill discipline and get an education.

“I knew I lacked discipline,” he said. “Now I’m getting my master’s degree, and I’ve helped over 30 other students receive scholarships to help them reach their goals of a career in the medical field. To be recognized by the Secretary of the Army for that lets me know they really appreciate the work we do.”

While he has been on a special assignment as a recruiter for three years, Jenkins served four years in the Army as Patriot missile launcher maintainer at Fort Bliss, Texas, and 13 years as a respiratory specialist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Md., Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, and Fort Bragg, N.C. He has deployed once to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As a member of the Cherry Hill community, Jenkins coaches sports at the local community center and organizes collection drives to donate toys and clothes to underprivileged families.

Esper has made accessions one of his main priorities and recently directed a modernization of the Army’s recruiting efforts to ensure recruiters have the resources they need to connect with qualified applicants.

“These (recruiters) are carrying out a critical part of the Renaissance that’s underway across our force,” Esper said. “Everything from our training to our equipment to our personnel system and more is being improved to best posture the Army to face great power and competitors on future battlefields. Readiness remains the Army’s number one priority, but we can’t continue our readiness without the right people. Quality people. It’s our recruiters serving across the country who are finding our nation’s best and brightest to join our ranks.”

As a medical recruiter, Jenkins helps potential applicants understand the education and certification opportunities, leader development programs and more than 50 medical career options the Army offers.

He also screens applicants to ensure they meet the qualifications to serve. Currently, only about 29 percent of youth meet the Army’s cognitive, physical and moral requirements for service.

“We are facing the toughest labor market we have seen since the all-volunteer force was established in the 1970s,” said Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, who leads U.S. Army Recruiting Command, based at Fort Knox, Ky. “Our recruiters are working hard to connect to today’s youth to ensure they understand how military experience can benefit them in the future.”

Jenkins and more than 9,000 other recruiters around the world helped the U.S. Army hire more than 80,000 individuals for full-time and part-time careers in the active Army and Army Reserve in 2018.