Toledo, Ohio, Sept. 16, 2020 —
On an ordinary day in Cleveland Battalion’s Toledo Company Recruiting Station, you’ll most likely find a group of Soldiers working diligently to fulfill their mission - just as they have month after month.
But August was not an ordinary month for the Toledo rockstars. For a company that often feels like the underdog, August presented them with mission numbers they had never seen before. Their commander, Capt. Zach Priday, was up for the challenge.
“We needed a total team effort,” Priday said. “We’ve been working towards this goal for months, spoke about it daily, and had a shared vision across the organization of making mission in August.”
That team effort relied on every noncommissioned officer in the company to be on their A game. There was no margin for error; failure was never an option. Every day counted, and every day the numbers grew. Together the Toledo Company not only met their mission, but exceeded it in stunning fashion, breaking a long-standing company record.
“What makes this accomplishment even more meaningful is that this was the largest mission ever assigned to the company and we achieved it despite being in the middle of a global pandemic,” Priday said. "Not only that, but every NCO in the company wrote at least one enlistment contract. This was a historic first for our company.”
Who better to lead the way in that effort than the 3rd Recruiting Brigade’s station commander of the quarter and the year, Sgt. 1st Class Zackary Bonner? The Bowling Green Recruiting Station commander has clearly made an impact since his arrival. Motivating his Soldiers to a higher work ethic, Bonner, a former infantry Soldier, has pushed himself to a higher standard.
“Being recognized as the station commander of the quarter and year is something I have always wanted for myself, but I also feel I owe it to my Soldiers to lead by example and be a well-rounded leader,” Bonner said. “Physical training matters, college education matters, leading matters, boards matter and winning matters. Winning can be contagious.”
Proving the point, not only did every NCO contribute to the unit’s success, but some of them took the matter to a new level.
Sgt. 1st Class David Hoffer from the Bowling Green Station, Staff Sgt. Madison Bollenbach from the Fremont Station and Staff Sgt. Robert Fitzgerald from the Toledo West Station each enlisted four Future soldiers during the month. Hoffer, a former infantry solder as well, gives credit to his command for paving the way to success. Balancing a combination of patience and honesty to get the most from his contacts, he said he changed his tactics very little in August.
“I really did not do anything different than before,” he said. “Some people have bad months and other months they just crush it. What I think contributed most to my successful month was being patient and following up with people. Text and social media really have been paying off for me since COVID started.”
The difficult part of having a stand-out month is finding a way to keep the momentum going. Priday feels success follows success.
“Here in Toledo we are constantly trying to get better and find ways we can improve, both as individuals and as an organization,” Priday said. “Once you think you’ve reached your potential, you will stop growing and become complacent. Even though we made history in August and set the example for U.S. Army Recruiting Command, we will continue to raise the bar and set more records.”