MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Working hard and showing great dedication to what you do is good, but does it get you to the top?
Sergeant Jarrod C. Mason recently found out that hard work does pay off.
Mason, the career planner for 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division received the Division’s Career Planner of the Year Award at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Feb. 5, 2014. “I was surprised to find out that I actually won, I was confident in my hard work but still didn’t expect to win the award,” said Mason.
To earn the award, Mason submitted several packages, and his unit had to be inspected and classified as mission capable. He said it also helped to have a good reputation of being a hard worker, which he demonstrated by re-enlisting 80 marines during his deployment to Afghanistan.
The Nebraskan said throughout his time as a career planner he has re-enlisted around 175 Marines. When Marines re-enlist they have the choice to stay in their current job field or to switch to a new job field.
“Some Marines want to keep doing what they are doing and other Marines want to change their job into something else that is geared more towards their natural skill set,” said Mason.
The hard work Mason used to get those Marines into different occupational fields has been developing since his earlier years. The career planner grew up in the small town of Albion, Neb., where he learned at an early age that a little hard work goes a long way.
“School came easy to me. I had all A’s until my sophomore year when I got my first B,” said Mason.
The hard working student said he was elected president of the student body during his senior year of high school, and was well-liked by most, if not all, of his peers. During his school years, the hard worker also partook in several sporting activities and developed a love for a lot of different sports including track and field, soccer and baseball.
As a highly involved student, he was also in the marching band and played the saxophone. Mason said he also took up playing the guitar and enjoys playing in the company of his friends.
After high school the Albion native decided to attend a few classes at the University of Nebraska, and afterward worked as a restaurant manager. Mason was driven to succeed by working hard at anything he did and continuously looked for ways to better himself.
“After working at the restaurant for a while, I decided I was going to join the military because a lot of people in my family served in a few of the different branches, but not the Marines,” said Mason. “I also wanted a challenge and felt like the Marines would help to accelerate the man I was becoming.”
“I decided on the Marine Corps after I stayed the night at a friend’s house. He was in the process of joining [the Marines].When we woke up we decided to go get tacos, but ended up at his recruiter’s office instead,” Mason explained after cracking a smile.
The aspiring Marine said he started the process to join the Marine Corps that day and three months later was at recruit training aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego in May 2007.
The soon-to-be career planner graduated from boot camp and went on to work in the supply job field for the first three years of his career before deciding to switch occupational fields to be a career planner.
The hard-working, people person said he felt like being a career planner was more on the human resources side of the Marine Corps and a better fit for him.
“When I decided to switch jobs I just wanted to do something different and I always liked customer service and helping people,” said Mason.
After Mason completed his occupational training, he was assigned as the 2nd Tank Battalion career planner. Mason was later assigned as the career planner for 2nd Bn., 8th Marines, deploying with the unit, and re-enlisting about 80 Marines during the unit’s tour to Afghanistan.
The Nebraskan said he stays up-to-date with his appointments and tries to see as many Marines come through his office as he can.
Mason is still with 2nd Bn., 8th Marines and has re-enlisted around 175 Marines during his time as a career planner, showing his hard work on paper and proving that he was the right choice for career planner of the year.