If you are a student, recent graduate or alumni interested in exploring a career in local, state or federal government you are in the right place! Register today to start your job search and be contacted by government agencies nationwide looking for you! It only takes a few minutes and you will be on your way to the perfect job!
Use your intelligence and critical thinking skills to protect your nation while building a great career. As an analyst, you'll be responsible for providing timely, insightful assessments to US decision makers and others in the intelligence community. Search Jobs
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Becoming a soldier used to be a fall-back occupation for some. Now it’s an elite club with the ability to reject even the tattooed
Uncle Sam may want you. Then again, maybe he doesn’t.
In the 1960s, it was not uncommon for young men who were in trouble with the law to be given the choice of going to jail or going into the military.
A high school education wasn’t required to join the service.
These days, most of the young people walking into the Marine Corps recruiting office in San Bernardino have some college education on their resumes, Staff Sgt. Osvaldo Hernandez said. Some have college degrees.
“Today, we have a smarter Marine Corps,” Hernandez said.
The struggling economy and the protracted high unemployment rate are pushing more people to consider a military career, recruiters say. At the same time, the military has raised its standards for enlistment and reduced its recruiting quotas.
With the force reduction plans announced by the Pentagon, those quotas will probably drop further in the coming months, recruiters say.
Greater competition and increased requirements make joining the armed forces — once open to almost anyone — less of a fall-back career choice.
Alberto Espinosa, 22, is a senior at Cal State San Bernardino and plans to graduate in June with a degree in criminal justice. He is talking to recruiters about enlisting in the Marines. He wanted to join when he was 17.
Looking at his employment options, Espinosa said, “everything is backed-up in law enforcement. I figured I might as well stick with going to the military.”
He said he has several graduating or already-graduated friends who are also looking at enlisting.
“They all just say the same thing,” he said. “We go to college for four years and we get out and there’s nothing there for us. There’s no jobs.”
NOW, WAITING LISTS
There are fewer military jobs as well.
Based on recruiting targets for 2012, in the past five years numbers for the Army have dropped 28 percent. The Marines are down 17 percent. And the Navy has seen a 4 percent drop. Only the Air Force has raised its numbers, up by almost 1 percent over five years ago.
Officials said they expect the numbers to continue to decline.
“It’s gotten more competitive,” recruiter Hernandez said. He pointed to a column of nine names on a marker board over his desk. “All these guys, they’re on the waiting list. That’s just to enlist.”
Up until about a year ago, Hernandez said, he never had a waiting list.
At the Moreno Valley Air Force recruiting office next to March Air Reserve Base, Sgt. April Silveira also is seeing a backup.
“Right now we have so many young people who are trying to join, there are more applicants than we have jobs for,” Silveira said.
ABC News recently reported that the Army started its fiscal year with half its recruiting goal already fulfilled, giving it its longest waiting list in decades.
When recruits do enlist, they are finding longer wait times to get into basic training.
“When I was a recruiter in San Diego, it was about four months,” Silveira said. That was two years ago. Now the waiting period is six to eight months, she said.
In addition, enlistment requirements have become more stringent in recent years. Although a few recruits are accepted with GEDs, most have to have a high school diploma. Depending upon the branch of service, they also may have to score higher on the armed services vocational aptitude battery, commonly called the ASVAB. Tattoos, especially those on the neck and lower arms, will disqualify a potential recruit, even if they subsequently have the tattoos removed. Even an unpaid traffic ticket can disqualify an applicant.
“Before they can enlist, they can’t have anything pending,” Marine recruiter Hernandez said.
Not only does the job market seem to be driving more people to the recruiting office, Silveira said she also has noticed more recruits coming in because they can’t get the college courses they want. Reduced course offerings, particularly at the community colleges, have left many prospective students shut out.
Phoenix • Tucson • Palm Springs • Sacramento • San Diego • San Francisco • San Jose • Denver • Jacksonville • Miami • Orlando • Tampa • Atlanta • Chicago • Indianapolis • Kansas City • Louisville • New Orleans • Boston • Baltimore • Detroit • Grand Rapids • Minneapolis • Charlotte • Raleigh • Omaha • Atlantic City • Las Vegas • Reno • Buffalo • New York City • Cincinnati • Cleveland • Toledo • Tulsa • Portland • Philadelphia • Pittsburgh • Myrtle Beach • Memphis • Nashville • Austin • Dallas • Houston • San Antonio • Salt Lake City • Richmond • Seattle • Spokane