Army recruiting sets records

For the second year in a row, the U.S. Army reached its recruiting goal in the New York City area as young men and women who are struggling to find jobs find opportunities in the military.
The Army has seen the average recruit’s age and number of recruits with some college education rise in recent years with the downturn in the economy as unemployment has doubled. “The sky’s the limit with regards to advancement in the military and those opportunities that are out there for success,” said Lieutenant Colonel Omuso George on November 3.
The U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion, New York City, which includes NYC, Long Island and Westchester, beat its goals for the fiscal year by an even wider margin than the overall national numbers. New York reached 114 percent of the active member goal of 1,589, while the national average was at 100.1 percent.
A recruit’s incentive may be financial gain and a steady job in the military service, career goals or the educational opportunities, with up to $83,448 towards college for a six-year enlistment and opportunities for continued services, said George.
The Army also gained recruits from a pilot program for legal, non-green card holders with skills in a designated foreign language to enlist called the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest which offers a chance at expedited citizenship.
“Recruiting for an all volunteer force is not without challenges, especially in a period of persistent conflict,” said George.
The Lieutenant Colonel, a graduate of Hempstead High School in Long Island, said, “I attribute our success to the work of our non-commissioned officers,” he said. “We’re not just looking at our officers as recruiters, but counselors. They have a world of experience and training and they can really make a difference in someone’s life.”
“We try hard to work with the community to reach out to mentor and assist wherever we can in the communities and in our schools, especially our high schools,” said George. “Helping our youth stay in school is one of our primary messages.”
The goal for the 2011 fiscal year, which began in October, is 67,000 enlistees for active duty and there are already over 33,000 enlistees in the delayed entry pool, which are people who have already enlisted, but have not yet entered basic training. The New York City Battalion goal for the first quarter is 425.