Thursday, Dec 12, 2013
Illinois National Guard Making Recruitment Fun
WEST FRANKFORT -- The Illinois National Guard is recruiting this week in Franklin County. Right now, the group has about 13,000 thousand members, including 3,000 in the Air National Guard. The guard's mobile event team hopes to grow those numbers by sharing with high school students the excitement of serving.
"It's my job to create a buzz for the Army National Guard. This is one of my priority one schools, my bigger schools, this one and Benton, out of my recruiting area," says recruiter Sergeant First Class Jim McCarty.
The Springfield mobile event team is having West Frankfort students compete on its inflatable obstacle course, showing the kids that the National Guard is all about teamwork.
"I try to get a lot of face time with them, and this is one of the ways I can get into my schools," explains McCarty. "Not only are we promoting a positive attitude, but at the end I'll sell the National Guard, saying hey there's a lot of benefits, there's a lot of great features to the Army National Guard."
Freshman student Brittany Poe says she already knows that she wants to join. It's a family tradition and something that she says can open new doors.
"I have a couple of uncles that were in the army and stuff like that. And I've always wanted to get away from here and do something fun, and to me that seems like it'd be a good thing and it'd be fun to do," she explains.
McCarty says free college education is also a big draw for students. If anything, he says he just wants to plant the seed for these kids that the Illinois National Guard is an option.
McCarty and the mobile team will head to Benton High School on Tuesday. Each recruiter is expected to bring in 17 new guard members this fiscal year.
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