The U.S. Army has increased their recruiting efforts in response to a new demand from President Donald Trump.
At the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion headquarters in Nashville, Lt. Col. Kevin Polosky oversees several recruitment districts in Tennessee and Kentucky. Some do a little better than others, but all of them were made responsible for increasing recruitment numbers.
"The reason for the historic increase is just because we have to try and grow the Army so large in a short period of time," said Polosky.
The rush to recruit stems from the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017.
"We were as an Army going down to 460,000 people. The President has come in now and said that he wants that number to be 476,000; so that's a 16,000 increase in a short period of time. So the Army has to be ready with that number by October 1, 2017," Polosky said.
Prior service members will also be welcomed back. $200 million in incentive bonuses nationwide may also help enrollment numbers.
"There's bonuses that can go up to $40,000, whether it be tuition assistance, money for college," explained Polosky.
Despite the incentives, recruitment of this size still poses a challenge. Currently, only 29 percent of our nation's youth meet the mental and physical requirements needed to serve in the military.
"We're now competing against colleges. We're competing against the job market; so we're competing for the best of the best as we try to bring them into the Army as opposed to have them do other things," said Polosky.
The Army has 180 diverse jobs waiting for those willing and able to enlist.
"We ask people, don't be intimidated when you come in. Take a practice test and see what happens. If it's not for you, we'll be more than happy to thank you for your time and appreciate the support you give us every day," Polosky said.
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