SALT LAKE CITY — Because of COVID-19 and the need to be socially distanced, the Army has launched its first nationwide virtual recruiting campaign.
Lt. Col. Raphael Vasquez, commander of the Salt Lake City recruiting battalion, joined Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic to explain why it’s important and how recruiting is working during the coronavirus pandemic.
Do you have the right stuff?
The Army campaign runs from June 30 through July 2 with a goal of recruiting 10,000 new soldiers to serve in 150 different occupations. You can find out more here
Vasquez said the Army has moved to 100 percent telework since March 18 due to the pandemic.
“We still have to recruit but in the virtual space,” he said. “Right now our effort for Army national hiring day is take those skills that we learned during our telework environment and apply them during this specific period of time, so from June 30th to July 2nd there’s a push to increase the media presence.”
For new soldiers, Vasquez said, the Army is looking for three things: A recruit who is mentally, morally and physically qualified and also be a high school graduate or equivalent.
Mental aptitude is measured by ASVAB, (the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test), according to Vasquez.
“Based on the results of that test, we’ll find out what kind of jobs are good for them [recruits],” he said.
“The second thing is morally qualified. We’re going to find young men and women that don’t have anything that’s deleterious in their background.
“In others words no crimes, no shoplifting, no petty theft. There are certain things that we can potentially waive because young people will make mistakes, and we don’t want to ruin someone’s life over small mistakes.
“We have to know for a fact that they’re going to do the right thing and share our Army values,” he said.
And lastly, recruits have to be physically qualified, Vasquez said. He said the biggest disqualifier for military recruits is physical fitness or a pre-existing condition.
Benefits of a military career
He said if you are between 17 and 34 years old and you’re looking for a job or an adventure, the Army is the place for you.
Vasquez said he joined the Army when he was 17 to share his father’s values of being part of something bigger than yourself. He added that after serving for four years, he used the GI Bill to attend Arizona State University where he earned a degree in psychology. After which, he re-entered the Army as an officer.
Another benefit, Vasquez bought a home with zero percent down by using a VA loan.
“All of this because I raised my right hand and joined the service,” he said.
Vasquez said for those interested, visit goarmy.com or 1-888-550-ARMY.
Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.