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Army recruiting on the rise

Posted January 29, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Tommy Frato is at a tough crossroads.

He's 23 years old, working retail at Best Buy and looking for a solid career path in the midst of economic turmoil.

Army recruitment Army seeing increase in enlistments

"Best Buy has been on a big hiring freeze, so there wasn't going to be a big opportunity for me to move up," he said.

Now, after more than four years with the chain store, Frato is trading in his Best Buy uniform for an Army uniform.

"Doing all the research, looking online for schools and opportunities, I just felt after everything that the Army was going to be a good fit for everything that I wanted to do," Frato said.

Sgt. Kelvin Pleasant, an Army representative at the Raleigh Armed Forces recruiting office, says he has seen a steady increase in foot traffic because of the economy.

"You hear everything from, 'I've lost my job' to 'I saw an advertisement,'" Pleasant said.

The numbers suggest a steady increase in people joining locally.

According to the Army recruiting battalion's contract mission numbers, or recruitment goals, the office reached 80 percent of its goals in 2005. In 2008, it reached 112 percent. So far, this month, it has exceeded its goal by 18 percent.

"To us, it comes from more efficiency and effectiveness in our approach," said Lt. Col. George Sterling, commander of the Raleigh recruiting office.

Sterling also notes that North Carolina often does well in recruiting because of strong military communities and ties throughout the area.

Sterling says it might be too early to clearly tie any surge in recruitment numbers to either the economy or an overall changing military mission.

"I think primarily that motivation of the economy is going to have more people look into it at least, but the bottom line is, there has to be an additional motivation," Sterling said.

Frato said he feels the Army is going to give him training and discipline he said he needs.

"I'm just very exited to get things rolling," he said.

11 Comments

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  • ignc73 Jan 29, 2009

    "He'll qualify to be on food stamps until he's an E-5, WIC until he's an E-6. "

    So yes, being in the military means 100% on the dole. Not only for the guy, but also his family, and for the rest of their lives. We don't need a bigger military!!!

  • oldscool Jan 29, 2009

    Sure join the Army go get yourself shot at or killed by people who hate you but hey its a paycheck right? The military the only place you can go and kill people legally.
    turtledove
    January 29, 2009 5:49 p.m.

    It is because of young men like this that you are free to make such an IGNORANT statement. BTW- You DON"T have to be in the military to be hated, as evidenced by 9/11. Were any of the innocent people killed on 9/11 wearing a military uniform? You should be thankful to this young man and show some RESPECT!

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Jan 29, 2009

    Join the Marines. They know it all and you even get to be a macho man.... Time for a buzz cut.. and chow..

  • Worland Jan 29, 2009

    On the dole? Jeeezzz... you have any idea how little our troops make? He'll qualify to be on food stamps until he's an E-5, WIC until he's an E-6. All that plus 16 hour work days, 7 days a week, 15 month deployments and a luxury 72 man tent to live in! Yhup... sounds like he's going on the dole to me.

  • Worland Jan 29, 2009

    Army? Navy? Join the Air Force. It's like the Navy but with better food, shorter deployments, better facilities and they send their officers off to get killed. Sounds like a bit of heaven! The AF has about 30,000 new openings thanks to Clinton's "force shaping" being thrown into the toilet where it belonged.

  • john283594 Jan 29, 2009

    Wow...more people on the dole, really?

    I think joining the service is a great oppurtuinity for young people...it should straighten them right up...

  • whatelseisnew Jan 29, 2009

    We are going to need the army to quell the fights that are going to happen in the soup lines. Unless of course the dummies in line are told that free iphones are being distributed with the soup.

  • discowhale Jan 29, 2009

    Join the Navy, better training, clean sheets, better food.

  • turtledove Jan 29, 2009

    Sure join the Army go get yourself shot at or killed by people who hate you but hey its a paycheck right? The military the only place you can go and kill people legally.

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Jan 29, 2009

    Just watch the movie "Stripes" and you will see what the army is like. Sgt Hulka and his platoon are great. "Thats a fact, Jack" The army is great

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