Local News

Recruiting Strategy Pays Off For N.C. National Guard

Posted August 21, 2006 7:49 a.m. EDT

— Cornelius Chadwick joined the North Carolina National Guard because of his friend, PFC April Hyman. She will get a $2,000 bonus once he finishes basic training.

"I was practically begging him to join," Hyman said.

Chadwick is one of 250 new recruits this year who have enlisted because of the Guard Recruiter Assistant Program, or G-RAP, in which enlisted members refer someone they know.

Already, the Guard says, it has exceeded its goal for new recruits. G-RAP recruits made up nearly 15 percent of them.

So far, Hyman said, she has recruited two people to the Guard. When Chadwick enlisted, she received a $1,000 bonus. Once he finishes basic training, she will receive another $1,000.

Guard officials said G-RAP is helping to make this a banner year for recruiting. The goal for this year was 1,594 recruits. So far, 1,700 new members have enlisted.

"It's really a lot easier when you're talking to people that you know, and they know you," recruit sustainment officer Lt. Kenny Ragsdale said.

New recruits, like Chadwick, agree.

"I'm glad (Hyman) was here to keep me -- guide me through everything," he said.

The National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., pays for the G-RAP incentives out of its budget. So far, it's given out more than $350,000 in incentives to North Carolina's Guard members.