Peace Time: August 30, 1999

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In an attempt to improve recruiting, and relieve active duty NCOs of increasingly unpopular recruiting duty, the Army is considering using recently retired NCOs for the some of jobs. These sergeants would be hired as civilians, but would be authorized to wear their uniforms while on duty. The advantages of this arrangement are many. Recruiting duty is a stressful business, and can hurt your career if you don't make your quota. It has been increasingly difficult to get qualified young men and women to join in the 1990s, largely as a result of a booming economy and lagging pay raises for the troops. Under pressure to make quota, many recruiters allow unqualified recruits in. Sometimes this is done illegally (fudging the paperwork), at other times, the rules are simply bent a bit. But the result has been an increasing number of unqualified recruits, and less than satisfactory soldiers. Retired NCOs will be older than the current recruiters, and be more mature in their judgments. Since they are, in effect, "temps" they are unlikely to feel as pressured as active duty NCOs. The Army has preferred, in the past, to use younger NCOs, as they are closer in age to potential recruits. But with the growing shortage of recruits gives the Army little choice but to experiment with the retired NCOs. There is little risk, and since the Army can drop these "temps" quickly and easily if they don't produce the numbers, they will eventually end up with those old timers who do have a knack for recruiting. This will also provide a pool of older, capable recruiters who can be put in charge of teams of mostly younger, active duty, NCOs. The "temp" NCOs can pass on their skills to the younger sergeants and do it for years. Currently, active duty NCOs only work at recruiting for a few years. The temps can handle it as long as they want to, and some will no doubt find it a challenging and fulfilling second career.

 


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