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Uncle Sam Wants New Recruits and He's Willing to Pay For Them

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FAYETTEVILLE — A strong economy is good for America but not so good for the military. With more job options, the U.S. military says this year has been the most difficult recruiting year since the 1970s.

Armyrecruiting stations would like to be a lot busier.The Armyis thousands short of its recruiting goal, and recruiters hope more money will change that.

Erdoo Tewolde says money is the reason she is packing up and heading out to basic training.

"If they are going to give you a college education, why not go for it," said Tewolde.

This year, the Army increased college scholarship money to $50,000. Even that has not helped attract men and women as much as the Army would like. It is more than 6,300 recruits short.

In a last ditch effort before the end of the fiscal year, the Army is offering an additional $6,000 signing bonus. Recruiters hope the message to prospective recruits will be more than just money.

"It can also plant a seed in their head that they're important. This is money the government is willing to spend on them to come work for us," explained Staff Sgt. William Nabinger, Army recruiter.

The $6,000 incentive has been available since the middle of August. In order to take advantage of the offer, recruits must sign up and be ready to go by Oct. 1.

Michael Porter, 19, was scheduled to report to basic training next month. He left Tuesday after a recruiter called and told him about the bonus.

"It's really good to have it. I didn't expect it, so I said '$6,000? Sure, I'll take it,'" said Porter.

TheAir Forcealso expects to be short on recruits this year.The Marinesand theNavyare within their recruiting goals.


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