Recruitment up for National Guard

July 6, 2007 at 11:28 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 6 (UPI) -- Increasing the number of recruiters and doubling the bonus has helped the U.S. National Guard refill its ranks in what is being viewed as a dramatic turnaround.

In the last 19 months, the Guard has brought in more than 35,000 new members, CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin reported.

Mike Jones, the Guard's head recruiter, said something had to be done when recruitment fell to a new low during the summer of 2005.

To turn things around, the National Guard initiated a program to pay members $2,000 for every recruit they delivered to basic training. They also doubled the number of full-time recruiters to 5,000 and doubled the enlistment bonus from $10,000 to $20,000, CBS News said.

At the same time, advertising aimed at enlistment emphasized the risks along with the rewards.

"We're very candid that serving in the National Guard today is sometimes a dangerous business," Jones told CBS. "Believe it or not, that message is selling."

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