LOS ANGELES -- The Navy operates in a fast-paced and ever changing environment. Turning sailors into contributing members of this worldwide team requires quality mentorship, from Day One.
Stepping up to this challenge is Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kristofer D. Wilson, a ship serviceman and recruiter assigned to Navy Recruiting District Los Angeles. He greets those future sailors with a handshake and a smile to break the ice.
Wilson was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and is the younger of two sons. He attended Germantown High School, where he played football and ran track.
He met his wife while attending the University of Memphis, and even as they began their family together, he still pursued his bachelor’s degree in health and sport science.
After graduation, Wilson enlisted in the Navy in 2012.
Growth Through Service
Wilson said he joined because the Navy would not only help him develop new skills and a better work ethic, but it would also provide for his family and give him the chance to give back, train and mentor the next generation of sailors.
“What makes the Navy an outstanding branch is that we are top-notch on training and mentorship,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s first duty station was the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry in San Diego. Working in the supply department, he advanced quickly through the ranks and participated in two deployments to the Western Pacific and 5th Fleet area of operations.
“My strength is that I have tenacity,” he said. “What I mean is that when someone says I can’t do something or challenges me, I put forward my all to accomplish the task and will not stop until it is completed.”
The Navy offered Wilson the opportunity to be commissioned as a surface warfare officer, which he declined in hopes he could instead become an officer in the supply community, an area he felt he would benefit the Navy the most.
“After all my years in the Navy, I saw my mentorship develop in the supply community,” he said. “I felt it would be a bigger benefit for the Navy and its sailors if I stayed in the community. If you’re not doing the right thing for your junior sailors, then there’s no point in advancing.”
In 2017, he saw an opportunity to help his Navy outside of the supply community and decided to become a Navy recruiter.
“I feel that being a recruiter is about mentoring the community that you are currently recruiting in,” Wilson said. “I have a passion for helping others and mentoring them to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to them.”
Wilson said he has learned that recruiting is a very challenging but rewarding duty. “The unique part of my job in recruiting is that I get to meet new people every day and learn about the different personalities that come into the office,” Wilson said. “Recruiting gives me the opportunity to help others obtain their personal goals in life.”
He recently earned the “Six Shooter Award” and the “Heavy Hitter Award,” both of which are granted to sailors who surpass their recruitment goals.
Wilson is on track for another promotion, and he continues to invest time in his educational ventures by working on his master’s degree in business administration.
Despite his accomplishments, Wilson said he continues to have his eyes set on higher goals.
“Being an officer would be my ideal future,” he said. “I’ll resubmit my package and help shape the Navy for future sailors to come.”