FORT KNOX, Ky. –
The 16th sergeant major of the Army highlighted the latest recruiting initiative, Army National Hiring Days, during an engagement with media in the Houston area Wednesday.
Sgt. Maj. Of the Army Michael Grinston promoted the virtual event that is offering up to $2,000 in signing bonuses for qualified individuals who start the enlistment process June 30-July 2.
Leaders all across the Army are taking part in supporting this all-Army recruiting effort with a goal of hiring 10,000 new Soldiers in a three-day period.
Grinston, along with Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (Texas East) Anthony DeToto and Houston Army Recruiting Battalion leaders, Lt. Col. Barry Winnegan and Command Sgt. Maj. David Beard, discussed the value of a career in the U.S. Army.
“It’s done a lot for me personally. I’ve been able to take care of my family because of the Army,” Grinston said. “You can better yourself as an individual and you can really make a difference for your family for the rest of your life.”
DeToto, who is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and was appointed by the secretary of the Army in 2017 to advise and support Army leaders in the eastern part of Texas, highlighted some of the education benefits Soldiers receive.
“I think one of the things that’s not understood really well is that a typical 18 year old who joins the military, by the age of 26 is not only going to have a college degree but often times has an advanced degree, and they have no student debt,” DeToto said. “It’s a pretty unbelievable way to take on the world. It’s an enviable position that I think many young Americans would love to be in.”
During this nationwide virtual recruiting event, interested individuals can learn more about career opportunities and benefits by visiting goarmy.com/hiring days or reaching out to a recruiter through social media. Winnegan discussed the importance of social media to the Army National Hiring Days campaign and when it comes to recruiting today’s youth in general, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting a recruiter’s ability to get out and meet people.
“We’ve adapted our recruiting efforts to reach America’s youth,” said Winnegan, the commander of the Houston Recruiting Battalion. “Our recruiters have found creative ways to reach our local audience here in Houston. We’ve been doing fitness challenges, esports tournaments, live video question and answer sessions, and many of our recruiters have learned new skills to change the way we connect.”
Because of the concern surrounding the virus, Grinston also addressed the measures that have been put in place at Army training centers to ensure new recruits and the current force remain safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have an obligation to make sure that as we bring in the sons and daughters of Americans that we protect them, that they are healthy,” he said. “Once they get into basic training, we are keeping them somewhat separated so they are in small groups, and we do that for about two weeks.”
Recruiters are using face coverings and following social distancing guidelines when meeting in person with applicants, Winnegan added. They are pre-screening Future Soldiers for symptoms or exposure to the virus prior to shipment to basic training to minimize risk throughout the entire process.
Winnegan and Beard encouraged individuals interested in learning more about the Army’s 150 different career options and what it takes to join to visit www.goarmy.com/hiringdays where they can connect with a recruiter in their local area.