CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — The U.S. Navy is currently offering $25,000 enlistment bonuses to anyone who enlists active duty.
"We’re looking for the most qualified individuals in the civilian world, right? We’re looking for the ones doing well in school, staying away from any crime, not using any drugs," said Senior Chief Justin Noble, assistant chief recruiter for Navy Talent Acquisition Group Pittsburgh.
That number could go as high as $50,000 depending on the position filled.
“Specific jobs would be like intelligence jobs, nuclear engineer, anyone who has interest in engineering, nuclear engineering is always a hot commodity," said Missile Technician 1 Joshua Eynon, U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class.
The COVID-19 pandemic created obstacles for all branches of the military when it comes to recruiting.
“There’s all different kinds of avenues, we just had to switch our tactics because high schools were shut down, colleges were shut down, how are we going to reach the general public?” said Eynon.
Other challenges still remain.
“The window of opportunity for us is shrinking because a lot of new medical practices and things happening in our community with marijuana being legalized," said Noble. "It’s causing us to have less people to work with."
As the only military branch currently offering the $25,000 enlistment bonuses, the Navy hopes the perk will help attract those ready to serve our country.
“It means you’re willing to put yourself and your life on the line for the betterment of the United States of America and the people who live inside our country," said Eynon.
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