It’s almost a tradition in this country: When the economy tanks, more young people look into the military as a career.
Captain Nivedan Reddy is Commander of the US Army’s Las Vegas Recruiting Company. He’s in charge of 80+ recruiters in Southern Nevada.
So as this school year ends, with COVID-19 still out there and jobs slowly opening up, have phones in recruitment centers been ringing off the hook?
Cpt. Reddy said there has actually been a slow down in inquiries but that has more to do with the changes in how the recruiting is done. The actual office had to close and visits to schools were canceled. Reddy's team had to move to virtual recruitment.
In addition, because of the medical requirements and testing, the number of recruits has actually decreased.
But Reddy is hearing from recruits that they're not sure about the future. However, they are sure the Army will be there.
“One thing we did see during COVID was the fact that people had more confusion on the future and confusion is never good because they don’t know what’s going to happen in the economy. They don’t know what’s going to happen in jobs. They don’t know when the next time will be that they can go to school,” he said.
Reddy explained that some people enlist because they want to serve their country and be part of something bigger than themselves; however, others enlist because they want a job and to learn a skill.
“It is going to bring us more people interested in jobs just for the fact that this is what is a scarce resource at this point in time,” he said.
The requirements for joining the Army are a high school diploma, although it can be an equivalency if needed, physical and moral fitness. Reddy said it takes on average 45 days from the time an applicant talks to a recruiter to when he or she is actually in the Army.
It is taking a little longer now because of new medical measures in place to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19, including testing and 14 days isolation.
"We're open to anyone - male - female - does not matter to us as long as they meet our requirements, which are our physical and moral... so as long as applicants can pass all those requirements and as long as they have a desire to serve, we're happy to work with them through the process to get them enlisted into the United States Army and off to basic combat training," he said.
Captain Nivedan Reddy, Recruiting Company, U.S. Army
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