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Indiana Names Recruiter of the Year

SGT Brooke Bailey (center), the Indiana National Guard's Recruiter of the Year, with fellow recruiters at a career fair in October. Photo by 1LT Brian Weitzeil
SGT Brooke Bailey (center), the Indiana National Guard's Recruiter of the Year, with fellow recruiters at a career fair in October. Photo by 1LT Brian Weitzeil

MUNCIE, IN Sergeant Brooke Bailey has been recognized as the Indiana Army National Guard's Recruiter of the Year. She is the first female recruiter to be awarded the Chief’s 54, the award for Indiana’s top recruiter. Bailey, a Muncie native, has been a recruiter for a little more than a year and enlisted 36 people last year.

“It's an honor to be awarded the Chief's 54,” says Bailey. “There has never been a female selected for the Chief's 54, and last year was my rookie year, so to be a rookie and a female and take the award is kind of a big deal. It meant a lot.”

In August, 11 of the Indiana Army National Guard’s top recruiters were selected to compete for the title. The competition factors in more than just the number of Soldiers who were recruited; it also includes an Army Physical Fitness Test and an oral test that challenged their knowledge on topics such as recruiting procedures, Soldier skills and extracurricular activities.

“The hardest part about the board was the anxiety," says Bailey, referencing the oral examination. “I was confident with all the questions they were going to ask on the board, but all of these exceptional recruiters are bringing their best to the plate. It was the strict competition that made it stressful.”

Indiana's adjutant general, Major General R. Martin Umbarger, is scheduled to present Bailey with her award on Nov. 1 at a private event. In the meantime, she's preparing to compete for Recruiter of the Year at the national level later next month. 

Bailey will be recruiting out of the newly opened National Guard storefront on the Ball State University campus, and she invites Muncie-area residents to join her for the grand opening from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the corner of University Avenue and Calvert Street.

– 1LT Brian Weitzeil