Show Me the Money

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

The Army National Guard has changed in the last few years, with guardsmen and reservists serving active duty in a war for the first time since world war two.

They're dubbed the weekend warriors. But, going from weekend to combat may explain why their recruiting numbers are down. Local recruiter, Master Sergeant Allen Swindell says recruiting during wartime isn't easy.

"People got a little nervous about the guard because traditional that isn't what we did. Even though that is part of our job."

But with recruiting numbers down and many not choosing to re-enlist, the National Guard realized it was time to evaluate their goal. Last month, officials approve a $15,000 bonus for those wanting to re-enlist and a $10,000 bonus for new recruits.

Staff sergeant Andrew Riehle reenlisted with the guard more than 10 years ago.

"Before the guard, I was on active duty. I love that and it was one of the reasons why I wanted to come in the National Guard because I knew a part of me was going to miss that training and the challenge and the camaraderie."

Guardsmen make up 44 percent of total army combat forces in Iraq, but Riehle says he learned a lot spending time overseas with his fellow soldiers.

"So, being over there was a way to validate and confirm all the years of training that you'd done."

But Master Sergeant Swindell says convincing the mothers of eager young recruits is not getting easier, but he is convinced they will meet the goal in this state to recruit a total of 10,200 to sign up.


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