U.S. Army recruiting struggles
LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The U.S Army is facing recruiting challenges. They project that the number of new recruits will fall by nearly 40,000 in the next two years.
Specialist Nicholas Orr is a Fort Sill Soldier who comes from a military family. Specialist Orr’s two oldest brothers were in the military, and his father Command Sergeant Major Matthew Orr has been in the military for 25 years.
Specialist Orr said he had several options after graduating from high school, like going to college, getting a job, or joining the Army. Orr decided to join the Army like the rest of his family and chose the same job as his father. He said the military gives people life skills and hands-on job training in a shorter amount of time and at no cost.
“A good reason to join the military is, let’s say you want to be a mechanic you have to go to school for that a certain amount of time to become a mechanic and get a good position. Well as you join the military the army teaches you all those skills and you can be a mechanic anywhere,” Orr said.
Specialist Orr is a success story for recruiting, as the Army expects there will be tens of thousands of fewer men and women joining between now and 2023.
According to “USA Today,” the Army is offering $50,000 to new recruits, which is the highest recruiting bonus ever. But only to recruits that commit to a 6-year enlistment, the Army says this will help with the recruitment crisis.
Orr said his recruiting process was easy, because with his family’s military background he already knew what to expect.
“I went in there and I already kind of knew what I wanted. And the recruiter I was talking to was actually in the same MOS that I am currently in, so he made it really easy for me,” Orr said.
Specialist Orr and his wife just had their first daughter, Gabriella Orr, June 4th, and she was born with clubbed feet. With her condition, she has to have special medical treatment and a few surgeries. Orr says with assistance from the military he can just focus on his daughter’s health and not worry about how he will pay medical bills.
“It’s a good feeling because I know I don’t have to worry about anything, any bills or anything or her being safe. And, I know I won’t ever have to go into debt to be able to afford to get her all that treatment,” Orr said.
Eligibility also is affecting the recruiting process, according to Pentagon data, obesity and drugs are common disqualifying factors.
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