Military Recruitment Numbers Down - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Military Recruitment Numbers Down

Military Recruitment Numbers Down
By: Ryan Tate

National Guard recruitment numbers in Missouri and Illinois are down, according to top officials with both military organizations.

Illinois Adjutant General Randall Thomas says half the fighting force in Iraq are from the National Guard, and that makes recruiting new soldiers tough. Master Sarge ant Chad Craft with the Missouri National Guard says the two main questions potential recruits ask their recruiters are "Will I be deployed?" and "What will the Guard do for me?"

"The war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan are the two biggest challenges in recruiting new soldiers," Craft said. "The economy is also a big concern."

A National Guard Major tells Heartland News, the Missouri Guard will try new marketing techniques, hoping to attract new recruits. Proposals include making the signs outside the Armories bigger, in order to make them stand out in town, and developing "store-front" recruiting offices, as opposed to having the offices in the Armories.

With the number of new recruits down, Guard leaders also want to retain as many soldiers as possible.

"A vast majority have been deployed and are bringing back an overwhelming amount of knowledge that can be used in these units. This is an evolving mission, a we'll adapt well to it," Craft said.

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