COLUMBUS — The Ohio Army National Guard has founded a new Recruiting Hall of Fame, and Miami County’s own SFC Aaron Weaver was recently chosen as one its first inductees.
Weaver was the first of four recruiters to be granted “diamond level” induction in the Ohio Recruiting & Retention Battalion Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held on Monday, April 1 at the Defense Supply Center in Columbus.
“I got an e-mail from our command sargeant major that said, ‘Congratulations, you’ve been inducted’,” Weaver said. “I had no clue this was even coming about; I was kind of shocked.”
In November 1998, Weaver enlisted in the United States Army during his senior year at Troy High School. Weaver went to basic training and was stationed in Fort Sill of Oklahoma to work at the artillery school. In 2002, during the final year of his 4-year contract, Weaver was selected to be an army recruiter and was offered the opportunity to come back and recruit out of Piqua.
“I wanted to stay here and pay back the community, so I switched over to the Army National Guard,” Weaver said.
Weaver left Miami County in 2005 to work in the Army ROTC program at Wright State University, where he worked for six years. He then worked in recruitment throughout south Dayton for two years, and recruiting operations for the state of Ohio in Columbus.
Weaver has been back recruiting in the Miami County area since 2014, and has now been recruiting for 17 years.
“I like being a recruiter, because it provides opportunities for people,” Weaver said. “I had an opportunity to join the service, and it’s done wonders for me.”
Weaver exclaimed that each of his 264 local recruitments came with an endless number of professional options for each individual.
“That’s 264 scholarships to college, 264 jobs and training, and 264 patriots that just want to serve part-time while pursuing their civilian life as well,” Weaver said. “For me, to be able to give back to these local organizations and students that are walking the same hallways I used to walk is great. I have a great sense of pride for this community.”
Of his position, Weaver emphasized the importance of steadfast honesty and integrity with those who pass through his office, as they will continue to be members of his community in the years to come.
“Recruiters have a tough job,” Weaver said. “There’s a stigma that we’re trying to chase a number, and that’s not true. I want people in this community to know if they sit down to talk about opportunities with me, I’m going to shoot straight. I’m never leaving Troy, and I like to tell parents of high school kids that are enlisting, ‘You’re going to run into me at local grocery stores, so I won’t do anything to jeopardize my integrity.’ I truly believe in and am passionate about what I do. If anything, this award justifies my passion and truthfulness with people, and that they can count on me to get the right answers.”
In attendance with Weaver at Monday’s induction ceremony were approximately 130 other Ohio recruiters, CSM Steven Stormes, CSM Roger Jones, battalion commander LTC David Swisher, and assistant adjunct general for the army Col. Daniel Shank.
According to Weaver, the award will be given annually based upon longevity in the command and number of enlistments.
“I’d never kept track of number of enlistments, because I just pay attention to who I can help next,” Weaver said. “To have my peers and leadership applaud me and be recognized by them for reaching such a high standard was an amazing feeling. To know I can come back home and keep doing the same thing is great, too.”
Weaver resides in Troy with his wife, Nicole, and their three kids.
“We love Troy,” Weaver said. “Miami County is special. A lot of towns have one road running right through the middle of town, but here you have these historical buildings and local businesses. It’s not like that everywhere else. It’s also a very patriotic community, and you can see that driving down Main Street. It’s small-town USA with a big heart.”
For information on opportunities with the Ohio National Guard, contact Weaver at 937-214-1133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.