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NEWS | Aug. 18, 2023

Profiles in Professionalism: LT Melissa Bagwell-Seifert

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erik Melgar

Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. - Every Sailor can remember when they first had the desire to join the world’s greatest Navy. For Lt. Melissa Bagwell-Seifert, from Corner, Ala., it started when she was 17 years old. Now, armed with 22 years of medical experience, college education and volunteer work under her belt, she is a Reserve Medical Officer Recruiter at Navy Recruiting Reserve Command (NRRC) Atlanta working out of Navy Reserve Center (NRC) Birmingham.
Throughout high school and college, Bagwell-Seifert excelled in math and science, which led her in the direction of nursing. After working as a nurse in the Special Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Alabama, she found that she truly enjoyed providing care to children. She then continued her education and became a pediatric nurse practitioner to provide a higher level of medical care for children.
Bagwell-Seifert had wanted to join the Navy since she was a senior in high school, but her parents did not allow her to join at 17 when she graduated. After dedicating a career as a pediatric nurse practitioner, she was on a nurse practitioner forum where they discussed the military.
“I felt that I was at a point in my life and career where I had the dedicated time to serve and decided to pursue joining the Navy as a Reserve Nurse Corps officer,” said Bagwell-Seifert.
Bagwell-Seifert’s job as a reserve medical officer recruiter involves inspiring medical professionals to join the Navy and to help reintegrate veterans who wish to serve as reserve Sailors, all while maintaining a culture of integrity, professionalism, and service.
“I was unsure of how I would like being a medical recruiter when I first started,” said Bagwell-Seifert. “It has been an incredibly rewarding experience during my time in the Navy Reserve. It is a career where you are constantly learning, which has helped me be a better recruiter for my applicants and has also helped me grow professionally to become a better officer and leader.”
After joining the Navy Reserve, the relationship between recruiter and recruit does not end. Bagwell-Seifert provides mentorship and ensures that her recruits are as ready as they can be for this transition of their lives.
“I had an excellent recruiter, Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Chase, who is now executive officer of Navy Cargo Handling Battalion One, when I was applying to join the Navy Reserve as a Nurse Corps officer,” she said. “He has continued to be a mentor to me and is always there anytime I have questions. This really meant a lot and had a positive impact on me, so when I became a recruiter I have followed his example by always being available to all of my recruits anytime they ever have any issues or have any questions.”
As well as being a mentor, Bagwell-Seifert helps the new medical recruits with documentation, getting them officially credentialed through the Centralize Credentialing and Privileging Department (CCPD) and contacts their prospective units to get them connected to other mentors in the field. CCPD verifies credentials for all health care providers to ensure they meet the minimum educational qualifications and employment experience and grants the ability to work in their specialty for the Navy. Having to maintain credentialing as a medical provider with the Navy gives her the insight to assist her applicants with first-hand knowledge.
For Bagwell-Seifert, joining the Canvasser Recruiter (CANREC) Program and becoming a medical recruiter is incredibly fulfilling. NRRC inspires people and re-inspires veterans to serve as drilling Reserve Sailors, assisting Commander, Navy Recruiting Command, in the recruitment of high-quality men and women for officer and enlisted programs in the Active Component and Reserve Component of the U.S. Navy.
“Helping others to achieve their goal of becoming an officer in the Navy Reserve has been the most awarding experience,” she said. “Seeing the pride on the faces of the family members and on the applicants as they are taking their oath to commission as an officer in the Navy Reserve is a very meaningful experience as a Navy Reserve Sailor.”
Bagwell-Seifert’s current professional goals are to apply and become a permanent professional recruiter for the Navy, which will give her the opportunity to continue to help medical professionals attain their goals of commissioning into the Navy Reserve.
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. 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 medical field has a wide array of specializations and fields of study. Bagwell-Seifert was a pediatric nurse practitioner for 22 years in her civilian career. Over the course of that time, she developed a large network of medical contacts from different specialties professionally and personally. This wide network has helped her in recruiting medical professionals from a variety of specialties, including physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists and several other Medical Service Corps specialties.
Outside of the Reserve, Bagwell-Seifert works at the Corner Volunteer Fire Department, at Corner, Ala., as a volunteer with EMTs and their chief, who is a paramedic, to help stabilize patients until they are able to be transported to the hospital.
Lt. Bagwell-Seifert has dedicated her life to service and continues to lead and inspire the next generation of Navy Reserve Sailors, bringing dedicated medical professionals to the Navy Reserve and bolstering the Navy’s total force.
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.