Local News

Perks Pay Off for Army Recruitment

Posted September 24, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— TheU.S. Armyhas won a six-year battle without firing a single shot. For the first time since 1994, recruitment is up. Top Army brass say a strategic plan they have developed has paid off.

Monday is the final day for the 2000 recruiting season. The Fayetteville recruiting office and the Army as a whole met its mission of 80,000 new soldiers.

The day has come for Garris Faison. He is off to basic training and a career in the Army.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," he says.

Joining the military is not always the plan for young men and women. That is why the Army had to make a jump into the service more appealing.

"A lot of new incentives came about this year -- $50,000 for college, a $65,000 and a $20,000," says SFC Stephen Barbes, an Army recruiter.

Money talks. It is a big reason why the Army surpassed its recruiting goal for the first time in six years. It is the reason why 18-year-old Jeanette Fletcher signed the dotted line.

"The money for college, I want to get my law degree," she says.

Othernew incentiveshave come into play. The Army is allowing more two-year enlistments, it is helping potential recruits get their GED's, and has developed a corporal recruiting program.

The Army is using young soldiers, like 24-year-old Joanne Jones, to convince people to be all they can be.

"They listen to me more than someone their parent's age," says Jones.

Recruiting for theArmy Reservehas not been as successful. The reserve is about 2,000 people short of its goal of 42,000 recruits nationwide.