U.S. Army Wants You More Than Ever
Military Branch Has Goal Of Adding 6,000 Additional Recruits In 2017
The United States Army is hiring. It’s using $300 million to add 6,000 more recruits this year; one of the biggest efforts to add soldiers in the same year since the Army eliminated the draft in 1973.
“Do you know any jobs out there that are offering $20,000 cash bonuses right now? How bout $40 (thousand)?” asked Staff Sgt. Samuel Simondet of a potential recruit on Thursday at Mitchell Technical Institute.
Simondet says he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2010, has even deployed twice to Afghanistan. Now as a recruiter, he travels to high schools and colleges in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, trying to get them to do the same.
It’s the same message it’s always been, and the standards are still the same, but the Army has a bigger goal in 2017; Six-thousand more recruits by the end of September, and Simondet says they’re definitely feeling the pressure.
But Simondet does have a little extra help. The Army is spending millions on advertising and bonuses, up to $40,000.
“We have a lot of bonuses when it comes to graduates like yourself, people that are higher educated,” Simondet said to a potential recruit.
That goes a long way, but he says sometimes history is all they need.
“Just driving around town I see veteran license plates for your Marines, your Navy, your Air Force,” said Simondet. “Most of the kids I’ve talked to have somebody in the military, some close knit towns, some of your smaller towns out there.”
The Army is also offering shorter enlistment contracts to some soldiers. The efforts are all part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Bill signed by President Barack Obama before he left office.