EL MONTE, Calif. -- The Los Angeles District helped open the doors to the newest joint recruiting center in LA county in a ceremony in El Monte Feb. 26.
"This facility is an example of how the Corps of Engineers is ‘Building Strong and Taking Care of People,’ starting with our Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines, and our new recruits, who will play such a critical role in helping to maintain the strength of our Nation," said Lt. Col. Alex Deraney, deputy commander of the Los Angeles District, during the ceremony.
The grand opening event, attended by recruiting command representatives from the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, included a swearing-in ceremony, in which dozens of future Soldiers and Sailors reaffirmed their oaths of enlistment before a crowd of nearly a hundred civic leaders and members of the public.
The district’s Asset Management Division led the effort to open the space as part of a larger plan to help stand-alone U.S. Army recruiting centers and joint service recruiting centers reduce the number of facilities needed to conduct operations. The El Monte Recruiting Center is the nineteenth such facility of 20 total facilities that are due to open under the streamlining plan, which is due to be completed by April.
The new facility, which will support more than 20 military recruiters, is nearly 5,500 square feet and encompasses four suites. Each of the three services the center supports – the Army, Navy, and Marines – have prominent display signage and branding, which helps support local recruiting efforts.
"The new center is in a much better location. It’s definitely above and beyond what we expected it to look like,” said Army Staff Sgt. Michael Richards, the assistant commander of the El Monte Recruiting Center. “It’s overall a much better representation of our Armed Forces and what we have to offer. It’s more inviting to the public and it’s a much better place for our recruiters to talk with parents and applicants.”
Army Maj. Gen. Megan Tatu, commanding general of the 79th Sustainment Support Command, headquartered at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Reserve Training Base, echoed Richards’ sentiments.
“Recruiting is where it all begins. Who knows? Walking through those doors for the first time might be the future sergeant major of the Army or possibly a future Medal of Honor recipient,” Tatu said. “Thank you very much to the Corps of Engineers for providing this great facility and upholding their motto of ‘Building Strong.’”
The Los Angeles District manages more than 250 recruiting station leases throughout Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, as part of the Department of Defense Recruiting Facilities Program. The leases are valued at more than $30 million and cover nearly 650,000 square feet of space, roughly three-fourths the size of the Los Angeles Convention Center.