Recruiting Requirements Limit Selection

Recruiting Requirements Limit Selection
By: Arnold Wyrick
When Uncle Sam sends out the call to duty, Heartland recruiters go into full recruiting mode. But not all the applicants pass
muster when it comes down to signing on the dotted line, and taking the oath of service.
"First of all they must be at least 18-years-old, be a U.S. citizen. And then they must take a military aptitude test. After that we start looking into law violations," says Sergeant First Class James Shepherd of the Saint Louis Recruiting Battalion.
Once a potential recruit has passed the initial phase of enlistment, their height and weight can play a part in whether or not they're fit for military service.
"And we also do a body fat count. For instance if a recruit is say 20 years old and has a body fat percentage of 24%, then he or she could be on the borderline. But if that recruit has a 26% body fat count, and doesn't exceed the weight requirement then we can still process them for enlistment," Sgt. 1st Class Shepherd said.
There are also other variables which can disqualify someone for duty.
"One of the things that can disqualify a person is an abundance of law violations. Or if a person has a medical condition. And if someone doesn't have enough education, we can't accept their application.
Shepherd says the number one things he's looking for in a potential recruit after they've passed all the other requirements is, their willingness to serve.
"That's my job, that's the first thing I do when I sit them down in my office. I ask them what do your parents think about this? Are you aware of the world situations right now? And then I ask them why do they want to join the U. S. Army? And if they are aren't sure on any of those questions, then I tell them, to go home, talk it over with their parents. And if they're still interested in signing up then come back and talk to me."
Shepherd points out that recruitment here in the mid-west is mush easier then it is on the West, or East coast of the United States.
"Most of the applicants in this region are very patriotic, and you get a much more diverse attitude towards the military in the coastal areas of the country," Shepherd said.