The US military is trying to attract recruits

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The US Army only achieved 75% of its recruiting goal this fiscal year.

TOLEDO, Ohio – Cpt. Jonathan Bourquin is the company commander of Toledo Recruitment for the US Army and has a decade-long resume with the Army. However, during his time in the military, he said last year’s recruitment was the most difficult, mainly due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of high schools have closed,” Bourquin said. “Recruiters haven’t been able to get into schools and make those connections with students and faculty for the past two years.”

The U.S. Army only reached 75% of its recruiting goal for the exercise.

Bourquin said factors other than COVID-19 have caused barriers to recruiting.

He said only about 25% of teenagers and young adults are qualified to serve.

“Medical issues, moral issues or run-ins with the law, or aptitude, being able to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB) test,” Bourquin said.

Earlier this year, Brigadier-General John Cushing of the United States Army Recruiting Command spoke with CBS about the signing bonuses introduced to try to recruit more soldiers.

“It’s an incentive, in terms of dollar amounts, that we’ve never seen, but we’re ready to compete for this talent,” Cushing said.

Depending on the position and length of membership, this could be up to $50,000 in bonuses.

Bourquin said the military is focused on getting back to schools and getting the message out to students. The U.S. Army had a booth Thursday inside Waite High School in Toledo.

A practical training course for students who do not meet the required academic standards has also been introduced.

“We’ve started what’s called the future soldier preparatory course, so if we have young people who aren’t qualified from the start, academically, to pass the test, if they’re in a certain range, we can still get them on this program,” Bourquin said.

For those interested in learning more about joining the U.S. Army, click here.

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