Citizenship for service; another desperate US army conscription bid
Struggling to fill recruiting gaps, the Army and Air Force have increased their marketing efforts to persuade legal immigrants to enroll.
Esmita Spudes Bidari has recently joined the US Army Reserves after a recent aggressive campaign to enlist immigrants has been taking place. What is the US offering them? A fast-track citizenship.
Struggling to fill recruiting gaps, the Army and Air Force have increased their marketing efforts to persuade legal residents to enroll, expanding their campaign, especially in inner cities. One critical component is the employment of recruiters with histories comparable to potential recruits.
Bidari affirmed that this method was useful as she explained that she was contacted by Army Staff Sgt. Kalden Lama, the Dallas recruiter, on Facebook, in a group for Nepalese people in America.
“That brother was in the group and he was recruiting and he told me about the military," Bidari detailed.
The quick road to citizenship is crucial for Bidari, who came to the US in 2016 as a college student. The citizenship will allow her to bring her parents to the US.
The Army, Air Force, and Navy have all stated that they will fall short of their recruiting objectives this year. Increasing the number of legal immigrants may not give enormous numbers, but any minor increases would assist. The Marine Corps is the only military that is on track to reach its target.
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The shortcomings have brought about new recruiting programs, campaigns, and other incentives to compete with higher-paying, less dangerous positions.
Furthermore, US officials claim that only around 20% of those who apply meet the physical, mental, and character requirements to join.
One key factor deterring young people from enlisting in the army is the mental health issues reported by active-duty service members in recent years. According to the Pentagon, suicide rates among active-duty service members increased by 40% from 2015 to 2020.
According to Air Force Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, head of the service’s recruiting command, “We have large populations of legal U.S. residents who are exceptionally patriotic, they’re exceptionally grateful for the opportunities that this country has provided."
The most difficult hurdles have been locating geographic pockets of immigrant communities, determining how to approach them, and assisting any interested individuals in navigating the rigorous military recruitment forms and procedures.
The Army reintroduced a program in October that allows lawful permanent residents to seek rapid naturalization after they begin basic training. Recruiters utilized social media in a variety of languages to target the top ten nations from whom recruits had arrived the previous year.
The Air Force followed suit this year, with the first set of 14 completing basic training and being sworn in as new citizens in April.
According to Thomas, exceptional measures have to be taken for the vetting process, noting that some are not put in positions that require top-secret clearance right away.
Recruits are swiftly enrolled in the citizenship system under the new program, and when they begin basic training, an accelerated procedure begins, including all essential documentation and testing. When Air Force recruits complete their seven weeks of training, the procedure is complete, and they are sworn in as citizens of the United States.
The largest numbers of those enlisting come from Jamaica, Mexico, the Philippines, and Haiti.
Due to the failure to reach its recruitment target, the #US military tried something different, enlisting students into their J.R.O.T.C. military program without their permission. pic.twitter.com/f4OgW4gpO7— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) December 17, 2022