13 January 2009
LOS ANGELESThe United States Army is looking to bolster its
recruitment of Asian American soldiers.
During a media roundtable exclusively for Asian Pacific Islander
American (APIA) media, the US Army Los Angeles Recruiting Officials
highlighted the opportunities and benefits the Army can provide,
especially during the current financial landscape.
"The Army has expanded its college program," said LA City Councilman
Dennis Zine. "They can pay for anyone to go to any college all across
California like UCLA, UC Berkeley, Cal State, they will pay for your
four year tab so you can get a degree and then you can pursue your
Mark Howell, Chief, Advertising & Public Affairs at US Army, said the
Army is not necessarily strengthening its recruitment of Asian
Americans but the reason for the event was to educate any
misperceptions Asian Americans have about joining the military.
"A lot of people especially Asian Americans and the API community
think that [once a person signs up] they go to war," said Howell.
"But that's not the case. The Army has over 150 jobs available. You
can be in the medical field, high tech jobs like computers, there's a
lot of different things you can do in the military."
Currently, there are less than 300,000 Asian Americans serving in the
US military, according to the US Census.
Many Asian American parents are reluctant to send their children to
the Army or US armed forces due to the recent War on Terror. However,
with the economy in deep recession, the Army provides an alternative path.
For example, the US Army offers education, bonuses and trainings in
over 150 job programs and career disciplines. It provides excellent
benefits, including salary, health care, retirement pay, childcare,
food, and housing, according to Army officials.
The Army has also other incentive programs, such as college fund
assistance and the Citizenship Expedited Program.
"It's really up to the person we want someone to serve their country.
At the same time we can help them with their life, to progress their
life," added Howell.
The media roundtable for the APIA media coincides with the Army's
goal to recruit more new immigrants and Los Angeles residents.
An LA Times report found that the Army recruiters have missed their
goals for enlisting new soldiers every quarter since nine months
after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Howell said the Army is not only reaching out to the APIA community
but will also host recruiting events targeting Hispanics and African
Americans in the next coming weeks.
FilAm Joey Quinto, an adviser for the event, said that several of his
friends and nephews have benefited from being part of the Army and/
or US military.
"A lot of the skills they've used in business come from the training
and disciplined they learned while in the Army," he said.