CONCORD, N.H. — The U.S. Army signed onto a partnership with the state of New Hampshire on Wednesday in the hopes of sharpening its recruiting edge.
Army Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy traveled to the state to sign the Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS) Program agreement with Gov. Chris Sununu, who called it a "great opportunity for the state of New Hampshire." The agreement will guarantee soldiers who sign onto the program a job interview with the state when they complete their service.
PaYS isn't new — it launched in 2000 and has hundreds of partners, including Lockheed Martin, Kraft Foods, Southwest Airlines, dozens of city police departments and individual state agencies. But New Hampshire is the third state to sign onto the program, joining Hawaii and Wisconsin.
The Army is facing a number of recruitment hurdles of which Under Secretary Ryan McCarthy is well-aware. One of the biggest challenges in New Hampshire is the thriving economy — "one of the strongest in the country," as McCarthy told Task & Purpose. Low unemployment historically translates to lower recruitment levels.
Maj. Gen. Frank Muth — the head of Army Recruiting Command, who attended the signing ceremony on Wednesday — told Task & Purpose that the biggest problem he consistently sees for recruiting is a lack of information. That is, of course, why the Army has renewed its recruitment push in 22 selected cities outside the service's typical comfort zone.
The challenges the Army faces in New Hampshire are reflected in the numbers — in fiscal year 2018, the active duty Army aimed to have 311 recruits, but came about 100 short in recruiting only 212, according to Army Recruiting Command spokesperson Lisa Ferguson. Army reserves had the same problem, with a goal of 95 recruits, but only getting 44.
PaYS is just one way that the Army is hoping to make itself more appealing to potential soldiers, by giving them employment opportunities for when they leave the service.
By partnering with the state, soldiers would have a guaranteed job interviews with a state agency or department. There's no guarantee of a job, of course — that's on the individual soldiers — but the opportunity is there.
At the signing ceremony, McCarthy said the program is a way for the Army to "draw closer with local communities, a way in which young men and women can have a bridge to the work force and opportunity to serve in the U.S. Army, whether that's three or five years, or 33 years."
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
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Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.
President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."