MISSION VIEJO, Calif. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers participated in the grand opening of the U.S. Army’s newest career center in Mission Viejo, Calif., during a ceremony in conjunction with the U.S. Army’s 238th birthday, June 14.
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.
The Army’s recruiting office accounts for half of the total area of the still-under-construction 6,350-square-foot joint service recruiting center in Mission Viejo, Calif. The other half of the facility will be occupied by Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force recruiters. The center required months of coordination between the Southern California Recruiting Battalion and the Los Angeles District, which facilitated the real estate contracting and build out of the new office.
“It took many months of planning and coordination in order to bring this facility to fruition. The result is this beautiful state-of-the-art center,” said Army Maj. Emily Norton, commander of the Newport Beach Recruiting Company, which oversees recruiting operations in south Orange County.
The new facility also saved more than $600,000 in lease and construction costs to the government over the course of the five-year lease, said Thomas Gulihur, a supervisory realty specialist in the district’s Asset Management Division. “The current rental rate was reduced significantly and major tenant improvement construction was performed at great savings,” Gulihur said.
The new office consolidates three different recruiting centers’ worth of recruiting personnel under the Army’s team recruiting concept, which calls for soldiers to support a unit recruiting mission instead of individual recruiting quotas and cuts costs.
“The significance of this new concept is that it reduces the number of offices recruiters need to meet daily business and allows our soldiers to conduct more efficient and effective recruiting operations,” Norton said. “This transformation aligns with the Department of Defense’s plan to reduce government spending and cut costs. When the transition is complete, the number of recruiting stations in southern Orange County will decrease from six to two and as the process continues, the number of total stations across the battalion will decrease from 45 to 22.”
Although the U.S. Army Recruiting Command and the Southern California Recruiting Battalion have been operating under the concept since 2012, the new facility allows recruiters to more effectively pursue their goals under the tenets of small unit recruiting. In the previous office, soldiers had to share work stations, making the accomplishments of day-to-day tasks more challenging than usual.
“The new center gives everyone a work station that they could work out of, because before in the other station, we were doubling up on desks,” said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Weems, the commander of the Army’s Mission Viejo Recruiting Center. “As far as command and control, I’m able to see everything that’s going on in the station, and when people walk in the door, it will look professional, the soldiers will be professional, and potential recruits will want to become part of this organization.”