By Ms. Deepa Mahendru (Front Page)March 8, 2009
Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest Pilot Recruiting Program
What is it'
The recently launched Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) pilot recruiting program. It enlists legal non-citizens who have skills in a designated foreign language for which there is a critical need or are licensed health care professionals who meet Army standards. While the Army has long enlisted lawful permanent residents (holders of "Green Cards"), this expands the eligible market to include others here legally but do not have permanent residence. In return for their service, those enlisting through this program can apply for U.S. citizenship on an expedited basis. Expediting a citizenship application cuts a years-long process down to about six months.
Why is the Army doing this'
To address personnel shortfalls in health care- including surgeons, dentists and nurse anesthetists- and in certain foreign languages and cultures the Army deems critical- including Arabic, Persian, Punjabi and Turkish.
How will the MAVNI pilot program help the Army'
It will strengthen Soldiers' medical care and, through improved capabilities in critical foreign language and cultures, enhance military missions.
Is the Army lowering recruiting standards'
No. This pilot program's participants will be held to higher standards than other recruits. They must have a high school diploma, score 50 or higher on the Armed Forces Qualification Test and must not require an enlistment waiver for any kind of previous misconduct. That's in addition to meeting all criteria required by their specialties (medical or other occupations).
How does this program assure applicants' legitimacy'
Applicants for the MAVNI pilot program are screened thoroughly by the Army and the Department of Homeland Security.
What's the way ahead'
The program seeks to recruit up to 333 people with the needed medical/dental skills and up to 557 people with critical foreign language and culture skills. The program is scheduled to end Dec. 31, 2009, unless the Secretary of Defense extends the cutoff date. The program's results and the Army's needs will determine whether it continues or is expanded.
To find more information and/or apply go to:
Army Web sites for the MAVNI program:
Aca,!Ac Enlisted applicants (critical foreign language skills)
Aca,!Ac Medical personnel
Defense Department fact sheet