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Face of Defense: Sailor Finds Balance as Navy Recruiter


Recruiters’ lives are rooted in their communities, making them representatives of the life the Navy has to offer. It’s a unique and often stressful job that requires sailors to creatively adapt to an ever-changing landscape, but also allows for great growth in a sailor’s personal and professional life.

Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Wyatt, an operations specialist and recruiter at Navy Recruiting District Dallas, was brought up as the middle child in a family of five children in San Diego, where nothing was ever handed to him. This helped forge him into a sailor with the desire, drive and optimism ideal for managing the challenges, and reaping the rewards, of recruiting.

“I was raised really old-school, you didn’t make the team if you weren’t good enough, you literally had to earn everything,” Wyatt said. “It was a hard life, we didn’t have a lot of money, we grew up mostly poor and so we had to work hard for everything we had.”

Growing as a Sailor

This work ethic enabled him to overcome numerous challenges before he began his Navy career, and drove him to attain many personal and professional goals when he came to NRD Dallas. He advanced in rank, and he earned qualifications that let him take on greater responsibility.

Wyatt also found a beneficial outlet through community involvement. He volunteers his free time extensively with the Lone Star Sea Cadets Squadron at Navy Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth.

“I never started volunteering [just] for the volunteer hours, I think the volunteer hours are the bonus,” Wyatt explains. “I needed something for my soul. I found my passion in mentoring junior sailors; that’s what feeds my soul.”

Not only does volunteering help him decompress from work and feel gratified, it also helps him communicate with the future sailors interested in enlisting in the Navy.

“I’m 37 years old. … Associating with a 17 or 18-year-old is not always easy,” Wyatt said. “Volunteering with the Sea Cadets has helped me talk to kids in a way that doesn’t make me feel like I am a boss to them.”

Get Knocked Down, Get Back Up Again

Wyatt’s main motivation in life is to ensure his family will have a better life and better opportunities than he did growing up.

“I don’t have an ‘off’ button, I keep going, I keep grinding, I am hard on myself to continually push myself as much as possible, and I always give one hundred and ten percent,” Wyatt said. “You don’t let anything keep you down. You get back up and you stand up even stronger.”

Wyatt also attributes much of his success to his shipmates.

“The team I work with in south Fort Worth, we take good care of each other, and when we’re struggling, we pick each other up,” Wyatt said.

He said that recruiting at NRD Dallas has taught him to balance the challenges of work with his personal development.

“I truly am grateful and I cannot say it enough,” Wyatt said. “I never considered being a recruiter, and all of a sudden it added so much positive light to my career.”