The U.S. Army wants you to join them.

In a three-day virtual re­cruit­­ing blitz beginning Tues­day, the U.S. Army is hopeful of adding 10,000 men and women into their ranks in 150 different occupations.

This virtual hiring event will be the first time the Army has come together as a whole to leverage digital space in a concentrated all-Army nationwide recruiting effort, according to a news release.

“We are very comfortable operating in the virtual state,” said Col. Eric Lopez, 3rd Recruiting Brigade Commander, during an interview Thursday with The News-Enterprise editorial board. “Before COVID, a lot of recruiting was done over social media because that’s where the demographic is. Generation Z and the millennials spend a lot of time on screen so that’s where recruiters are going to be.”

Fort Knox Cadet Command and Commanding General John R. Evans Jr. said each year adding 10,000 people to the Army is the targeted goal. Some will be as soldiers and others will be in a variety of careers that often may not be looked upon as Army careers, such as support positions in logistics, engineering and technology.

“The Army is a good place to secure for themselves and their families,” he said. “ ... We see an attrition that’s natural within both the officer and the enlisted corps and that’s just part of the process.”

The hiring blitz “is a novel idea” to the U.S. Army, Lopez said.

“This is not something that we have done in the recent past, this is totally new,” Lopez said. “COVID reduced the number of folks that we put into the Army and we’ve got to catch up. It’s an issue of national readiness of our force being able to show the numbers that we need to fill for the Army to carry out its mission and defend our nation ... we’re looking forward to talking to the maximum number of people and talk about potential careers in the Army.”

As part of the nationwide recruiting effort, U.S. Army leaders, operational units, recruiters and community partners across America will focus on encouraging individuals to explore an array of career paths and highlight the benefits of military service, to include health insurance, retirement plans, training and education and family support programs, according to a news release.

During the hiring blitz, anyone who is interest in a U.S. Army career can go to goarmy.com to see if they meet the qualifications, learn about job opportunities and associated hiring incentives and connect with a recruiter.

Qualified applicants are eligible for bonuses up to $40,000 or student loan reimbursement up to $65,000, depending on the selected occupation, ASVAB scores, contract length and timeline for shipping to basic training, the release said.

To become an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army, individuals must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; be 17-34 years old; achieve a minimum score on the Armed Ser­_vices Vocational Aptitude Battery test; meet med­ical, moral and physical requirements; and be a high school graduate or equivalent.

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.

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