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NEWS | Aug. 25, 2023

Profiles in Professionalism: MA2 Julia Bliss

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erik Melgar

For the Ramsey, N.J. native, Master-at-Arms Second Class Julia Bliss, there is no challenge or obstacle that can’t be overcome. Among balancing family, working in an emergency care veterinary clinic, and majoring in Criminal Justice, she still finds the time to be a prior service recruiter. Working out of Navy Recruiting Reserve Command (NRRC) Jacksonville, Bliss finds and returns the best men and women into enlisted programs in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
As the Assistant Recruiter in Charge at NRRC Jacksonville, Bliss provides operational oversight, leadership training, and development of the recruiting force to ensure mission attainment and adherent to prescribed operating procedures.
“I personally love it,” said Bliss. “My mission is prior service, so I deal with veterans who have gotten out of the service, in all branches. They know how it is in the military, and sometimes need help acclimating to the civilian sector. When people come to me and tell me they’re not used to it, the Navy Reserve is where we can balance that transition.”
Bliss’ military career includes 6 years in the Army Reserve and has been in the Navy Reserve since March of 2018. Having time and experience in two different branches has shown Bliss how complex and multifaceted our military is.
“I was a wheeled vehicle mechanic,” said Bliss. “It is a very small community, very male dominated. I worked very hard to stay on top, and I enjoyed every minute of being in the Army.”
Having served in the Army and Navy, Bliss is able to speak to veterans from personal experience and offer an honest insight into switching branches.
“When I enlisted in the Navy Reserve March of 2018, I hit the ground running.” Said Bliss. “I had ambitions of becoming a military working dog handler. The day after I enlisted, I went straight to the kennel on NAS Jacksonville and was greeted by some of the most incredible Master-at-Arms, setting the tone of what to expect in the Navy.”
Bliss picked up Navy Reserve Canvasser Recruiter (CANREC) orders and has been recruiting prior service members to the Navy Reserve out of Jacksonville for 4 years.
The CANREC program is open to active duty (within 90 days of separation), drilling reserve, and IRR Sailors, both officer (O-4 and below) and enlisted (E4 to E-6) and is an initial two year set of active-duty orders with the ability for multiple extensions for high performing recruiters. It involves a 25-day recruiting skills course in Pensacola. CANREC recruits enjoy full active duty pay, medical and dental benefits, BAH, and special duty pay for enlisted while serving in over 27 locations throughout the United States.
“Looking back when I joined the Navy Reserve to now, all the steps that I had to take to get to this very moment, I feel like I would be doing a disservice to the Navy for not putting in an application to become a Navy Recruiter full time because of all the awesome things that the Navy Reserve has afforded me,” said Bliss.
Bliss’ family has long military ties. Her father served in the German Air Force, and trained at Lackland Air Force Base, which was where Bliss went to A School. Bringing her father back to that base and being able to connect with him and his past was a very special moment.

“I was able to bring my dad back to the same parade field that he drilled back then,” said Bliss. “To see my dad, who’s been through a lot of things in his life, be able to bring good memories back was an unbelievable experience. The Navy Reserve allowed me to do that.”
For Bliss, the Navy Reserve is something all veterans should look into.
“I think people write it off because of their experience in active duty, or don’t have knowledge on what the Navy Reserve offers,” she said. “I believe that anybody who’s separating or has separated should talk to a prior service recruiter and get 100% of the information to make the best educated decision that you can with your future.”
Bliss has been selected for conversion into Navy Counselor (NC) and will be under Training and Administration of the Reserve (TAR), supporting enlisted personnel who train and administer the Navy Reserve.
While on CANREC orders, Bliss is a veterinary technician during weekends, providing blood work, x-rays, surgical tech and more. While it can be stressful, Bliss enjoys working with animals and is there to do anything she can to help people get through some of the worst moments with their pets. She is a mother of two children and is currently studying criminal justice.
Balancing education, career, and family life can be difficult, but she finds it manageable by prioritizing her mental health. Bliss says taking time to exercise in the gym, keeping in touch with family back home, and making sure the kids are on a good schedule are all great steps towards improving mental health and maintaining work-life balance. Her family offers a healthy support system and is there to pick up her slack if and when it occurs, allowing Bliss to show up as the best version of herself wherever she goes.
Navy Recruiting Reserve Command is looking for individuals who are highly motivated and passionate about being a Recruiter. Being a CANREC recruiter is a very rewarding experience and can directly lead to acceptance into full-time opportunities such as conversion to TAR, Hometown Recruiter, or Permanent Professional Recruiter.
The contributions of CANREC recruiters are critical to the overall mission of the Navy Reserve.
Those interested in applying for CANREC for enlisted opportunities should contact / (916) 317-5132, and for officer opportunities should contact LCDR Wesley Klimt, / (901) 874-7773.