FORT HAMILTON, N.Y. --
As dozens of fresh-faced recruits stood at attention here today and waited to raise their right hands, the U.S. military’s senior noncommissioned officer administered the oath of enlistment and commended them on their new journey.
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, imparted advice to the recruits during his tour of the New York Military Entrance Processing Station, the second-largest processing site in the nation.
“You have a little work to do before you earn that title of airman, Marine, Coast Guardsman, sailor or soldier,” Battaglia said to the enlistees. “But it’s certainly not a task that’s unachievable. It’ll take a lot of determination, a lot of grit, a lot of focus. … And never give up.”
Battaglia, a 33-year veteran of the Marine Corps, also thanked family members and friends who witnessed their loved ones enlist.
“We know that we are taking your sons and daughters and sisters and brothers away from you temporarily,” he said. “We’re going to do some great things with them. We’ll make them bigger and better, and they’re serving their nation.”
The MEPS mission is to evaluate applicants by applying established DOD standards during processing to determine eligibility for military service.
“Our vision is to be America’s elite source for military and federal employment screening,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Neal, medical noncommissioned officer in charge at the center.
The New York MEPS is part of a network of 65 centers located nationwide and in Puerto Rico.