During Sluggish Economy Military Enlistment Up - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

During Sluggish Economy Military Enlistment Up

The military has always been known for accepting most applicants, but now as unemployment lines have grown a lot of highly-qualified people are signing up for a steady paycheck with Uncle Sam.   Because of that recruiters have actually been turning people away.

It is a growing trend over the last several years.  A Navy recruiter I talked to today says because of the steady unemployment rate their requirements have changed, and they can be picky in a time of war.

Phone calls and walk-ins are nothing new to Navy Recruiter Cody Tibbets.

"If you count the leads that come in off our computer, the phone calls that we get, the people that come in the door, and the people that we go out and get is about 40 a week," said Officer Tibbets.

That number has gone up these past few years most in part due to the sluggish economy that has left thousands of people turning away from the unemployment line and heading straight to a military recruiter.

"I'd say the older crowd of the early 30's are coming in a lot more often, calling in, putting in a request to get information about the navy," he said.

But it's not so easy, requirements have changed.

"They used to let a small percent of GED's in, now that's pretty much gone away," he said.

GED's must be accompanied with college credit, and fitness requirements for men are tougher too.

"We used to let 'em in at 25 percent now we've gone down to 22 percent," Officer Tibbets said.

He also says they turn away about 75 percent of people who come into their offices because they simply don't meet their standards.

"Narrowing down to the higher quality of people is what we're looking for," he said.

As Petty Officer Tibbets puts it, the Navy, once looked at as a second choice option, is now a first choice novelty.

With the navy's full medical coverage, $180,000 college scholarship, GI Bill, and even paid housing, it's no wonder people are turning to them for a sense of security.

We also reached out to the Air Force, the Army and the Marines, but were unable to reach them.

Crystal Hall News Channel 6.

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