FORT KNOX, Ky. – U.S. Army leaders are joining together across the nation to generate support for the first-ever Army National Hiring Days in an effort to inspire 10,000 people to join the Army team.
Lt. Gen. Leslie Smith, the U.S. Army Inspector General, and Maj. Gen. Gary Brito, commanding general for the Maneuver Center for Excellence and Fort Benning, Georgia, joined leaders from U.S. Army Cadet Command, the Atlanta Army Recruiting Battalion, and the 2nd Army Medical Recruiting Battalion for a virtual discussion about the wide range of opportunities available during the three-day hiring blitz June 30-July 2.
The leaders discussed some of the key tangible and intangible benefits of joining the U.S. Army as an enlisted Soldier or as an officer.
“Don’t close any door that will get you where you want to go,” said Smith, whose brother and sister also served in the military, following in the footsteps of their father. “Dream big, and don’t be afraid to take a chance. [The Army] gives you a lot of opportunities.”
Smith highlighted the benefits service can provide even after a Soldier transitions out of the Army.
“Corporate America and companies today look for leaders, and that’s what the Army does,” Smith said. “It develops leaders.”
In addition to leadership development, there are financial incentives for those who join the Army.
Individuals who contact a recruiter and start the enlistment process during Army National Hiring Days are qualified for up to $2,000 in cash bonuses in addition to any bonuses that may be associated with their selected occupation. Enlisted recruits are eligible for up to $40,000 in total bonuses or up to $65,000 in student loan repayment, according to 1st Sgt. Monica Maize, from the Atlanta Recruiting Battalion.
For medical professionals interested in serving as officers, the Army offers signing bonuses ranging from $30,000-$400,000; student loan repayment; scholarships for medical, dental and veterinary school; and 170 different resident and fellowship options for scholarship recipients.
“We need the best healthcare professionals to serve in our formation and to take care of our men and women in uniform, their families, and our retirees,” said Lt. Col. Susan Tallman, who manages medical recruiters in the southeast portion of the country. “You can be anything in the Army as long as you are willing to work for it.”
Col. Scott Sonsalla, U.S. Army Cadet Command, highlighted the ROTC scholarship program for individuals interested in training to be an officer while going to college.
“It is a way to get a jump start in your life” in the “world’s largest leadership laboratory,” Sonsalla said of the officer training program, designed to develop new leaders for part-time and full-time career opportunities. ROTC supports 15,000 college students each year with stipends and scholarships.
Whether an individual serves for a few years or a full 20-year career, and whether they choose to serve as an officer or an enlisted Soldier, Brito said the Army is a team worth joining.
“I was going to do four years and get out, but I loved it so much,” said Brito, who oversees the training of all armor and infantry Soldiers in all three Army components. “I loved the opportunities, I loved the enthusiasm, I loved the teamwork and all that it gives all Soldiers.”
Brito also said it is important for individuals to consider that a position with the Army is much more than just a job.
“Don’t’ take it as a career; it’s a values-based profession,” Brito said. “I don’t care where you came from, whether it’s the streets of New York or the hills of Kentucky, you’re going to join a great organization filled with great young men and women who are motivated to succeed in life.”
Smith echoed Brito’s comments encouraging young people to take the challenge and consider one of the 150 different career opportunities the Army offers.
“Listen to people who are speaking positive in your life ... Look at options and opportunities that will challenge you,” Smith said “I promise you, it will change your life.”
For more information on the opportunities and benefits of service in the U.S. Army during Army National Hiring Days, visit www.goarmy.com/hiringdays June 30-July 2.