Mission Viejo, Calif. –
U.S. Army recruiters in Southern California are using online applications and virtual interviews to help future Soldiers plot a career path, and implementing strict hygiene measures to ensure enlisted Soldiers ship safely to basic training.
The U.S. Army’s office at the San Diego Military Entrance and Processing Station shipped 15 enlistees Monday and expects another 10 to move out Tuesday. For these enlistees, the final steps of becoming a Soldier have been geared towards screening for COVID-19. Meanwhile, recruiters are operating in the digital space to put the Army’s message out and provide options to those interested in serving.
“Early on, we adapted as much as possible to accommodate recruits by being available where they are – online,” said Lt. Col. John Bleigh, the commander of the U.S. Army’s Southern California Recruiting Battalion. “Then, when it comes time to ship, we take every precaution to protect our Future Soldiers and our workforce. If we can’t do those two things, then we don’t recruit.”
U.S. Army Future Soldiers move through a pipeline, from initial contact to shipping. Most of that pipeline has successfully migrated to the digital space. The U.S. Army is currently not enlisting new Soldiers, but it is in the process of shipping approximately 700 Soldiers who enlisted more than a month ago, and have been waiting for the go-ahead to ship to basic training.
To ensure safety, SoCal Battalion has purchased more than $500 in personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies for its MEPS offices and for Soldiers processing into basic training.
Recruiters are able to help individuals complete the majority of the Army's application requirements without any in-person contact to determine eligibility and guarantee training of choice and any monetary incentives for which they qualify.
Once a Future Soldier completes all enlistment steps remotely, they must complete a three-phase safety COVID questionnaire processing statement at the 15 day, three day, and final 24 hours before processing. They then billet, one per room, in a local hotel where medical screeners examine all enlistees the morning they are scheduled to ship.
“The Army has said that in incredible times, incredible people step up,” said Master Sgt. Dustin Denney, who runs the Army’s processing section at San Diego MEPS. “We’re seeing that not only are people stepping forward to serve their country, but my people here at MEPS, when asked to work face-to-face with Future Soldiers, are stepping forward to do their jobs without question or complaint. They know this is a mission that matters for our national security and they’re continuing with this essential work.”
The U.S. Army has 150 different career choices, ranging from the well-known infantry and armor positions to careers in healthcare, law enforcement, logistics, technology and more. New Soldiers are fully trained in their selected occupation and have opportunities to obtain additional education, credentials and certifications to support future career goals.
The Army also has more than 50 healthcare careers, if applicants are inspired by current events to serve in the medical field.
For more information and to find a local recruiter, visit goarmy.com/socal.