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NEWS | Oct. 26, 2020

Counselor guides career paths of NTAG San Antonio Sailors

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

When service members with Navy Talent Acquisition Group San Antonio have questions about or need guidance on their career options in the Navy, one person they can reach out to is Petty Officer 2nd Class Jasmine Harris.

Harris is the assistant command career counselor at NTAG San Antonio, located at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, where she monitors and provides career guidance to active duty members and Reservists assigned to NTAG San Antonio.

As a career counselor, Harris said her focus is to assist Sailors on their career goals in the Navy.

“I make sure that their careers are on track with whatever their career goals are and I make sure they have a plan so they will be successful,” Harris said.

Harris, 34, has served in the Navy for 8 1/2 years. She started as an electrician’s mate on the USS Nimitz for five years, completing two western Pacific deployments and multiple training exercises during her time onboard.

While assigned to the USS Nimitz, she also worked as a divisional career counselor in her department. Harris grew to enjoy helping and providing guidance to Navy service members in their career paths and, at that point, she decided on a career change herself.

“I figured if I’m good at this, then why not change from being an electrician’s mate to being a Navy counselor and continue helping people,” Harris said.

In April 2018, Harris was assigned to NTAG San Antonio – at that time known as Navy Recruiting District San Antonio – as a recruiter. She was a recruiter for two years, recruiting 62 future Sailors and earning several awards from NTAG San Antonio for her efforts.

Harris’ goal of becoming a Navy counselor came true in August when she took over as assistant command career counselor. Besides providing career guidance to service members, she assists the NTAG San Antonio command career counselor and command master chief in all career development programs.

Along with the command career counselor, Harris serves as a liaison between service members and the upper echelon in NTAG San Antonio – the commanding officer, executive officer and command master chief – in keeping them informed on the career development of Sailors at their command to promote retention of Navy personnel.

Harris said the communication and leadership skills she has hone while being a recruiter have helped her to become an effective Navy counselor. As a career counselor, she said she is approachable to Sailors who can come by her office at any time.

“Honestly, I just like helping people,” Harris said. “I’m a helper. I’m the kind of person that is very dependable and if you need help, come to me. I’ll do whatever I can to assist you and being able to do that is 100 percent the most rewarding part of the job.”

The daughter of a retired Navy lieutenant, Harris joined the Navy after working a few years as a pharmacy technician in her hometown of Glendale, Arizona. Harris said she enlisted in the Navy because it gave her more career opportunities to pursue while serving her country.

“The Navy has given me every opportunity to attain every goal I wanted to reach by joining,” she said.  “I’ve changed my career and received a new skillset that I can take with me wherever I go. Every day that I am in the Navy gives me the ability to achieve the ultimate job satisfaction and make a difference in the world just by being a part of this amazing organization.”

While in the Navy, Harris has been able to further her education by earning a bachelor of arts in organizational leadership. She has been accepted to graduate school at the University of Oklahoma, through which she will be studying to obtain a master of arts in organizational leadership.

Harris has been involved in the local community, volunteering at the San Antonio Food Bank and with Meals on Wheels. For her volunteerism during her Navy career, she received the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

She is learning and taking in all the knowledge she can as a Navy counselor at NTAG San Antonio, because in January she will become a command career counselor assigned to squadron VAQ-140 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state.

Chief Petty Officer Archie Anz, NTAG San Antonio command career counselor, said Harris is a good listener who can figure out the career needs of Sailors who come to her.

“She is very intuitive,” Anz said. “She understands career development programs that help our Sailors navigate their careers. She is sought out by her peers for sage career advice.”

Harris is looking forward to going to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island so she can continue to help further the careers of Navy service members.

“I’m actually very excited to be the go-to person for my new squadron in terms of career development and career planning,” Harris said.

As for her career goals, Harris intends to go as far she can in the Navy.

“It would be a tremendous honor to be a command master chief or commanding officer one day,” Harris said.