On Nov. 19 at the Glow Community Center in Flushing, Queens, the U.S. Army held a job fair and ceremony to promote career opportunities in the military and to celebrate local Asian and Pacific Islander veterans.
In attendance was Lieutenant Colonel Harold Morris, the Army’s New York City Recruiting Battalion Commander, who told Vision Times that “what we’re here to do is connect with the community. We want to show that we, the Army, are part of our local community whether it’s the city, Queens, Flushing, and, what we want to do is, we want to tell people about the opportunities the Army has.”
The U.S. Army offers over 10,000 positions in 150 different career paths and, at the job fair, interested parties had the opportunity to sit down for one on one conversations with recruitment professionals and serving soldiers to determine if the Army is the right career choice for them.
“What the Army does is it challenges the individual. It will take your average individual, someone who is physically fit [and] mentally capable and it will take that individual and put them into extraordinary situations,” Morris said, adding that, “It will give you the opportunity to lead soldiers during exercises, potentially on the battlefield. It’ll ask you to be responsible for millions of dollars worth of equipment and it’ll ask you to be in charge and for most people … that’s extraordinary.”
Morris said what makes the Army unique is that it takes someone, who may have just graduated high school, and sends them to 10 weeks of basic training and, depending on their chosen career path and training, someone could immediately find themselves in charge of people and equipment.
Career paths range from truck driver, to cybersecurity expert to doctor. “It’s an extraordinary proposition,” Morris said.
For the quarter running from October to December this year, Morris said he intends to recruit 800 new recruits from New York’s five boroughs as well as Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Morris said, “By holding events like this we can actually get the message out to those students who are looking to enter the job force and thinking ‘what will I do?’”
He said the event was perfect for parents or grandparents to attend to discover what opportunities the Army has for their child and to help answer the question “What could my child or grandchild possibly do with their lives and what kind of career could they have?”
Recruits enjoy numerous benefits for enlisting including a potential $50,000 bonus for specific specialities, a 2-year enlistment option, paid tuition education benefits, 30 days paid vacation a year, and a choice of first duty assignment in Hawaii, Germany, Italy or other locales among other things.
Recruits can also take advantage of the Army’s Partnership For Your Success (PaYS) program which is a partnership with corporate America which allows future soldiers to select a company upon enlistment, and upon completion of service, will offer the now veteran up to five interviews with the selected company providing an immediate opportunity for employment after they leave the Army.
NYPD and FDNY Recruitment was also on hand to speak with potential future recruits.
Honoring Asian-American veterans
A ceremony was held to honor Asian-American and Pacific Islander (API) veterans and featured speeches by U.S. Army Career Specialist SGT Zwang, SFC Wang and SSG Lee. They were available to chat with potential new recruits to talk about various job specialities including roles with the military police, human resources, I.T., medical and signal departments.
Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the long history of Asian-American soldiers who have served the United States for generations and to meet currently serving soldiers.
A special performance of traditional Chinese yo-yo by Luke So and Linda Church was held as well.
Awards were presented to U.S. Army veterans of Chinese descent, Chaplain (Major R) Xiong Yan, Jinnan Li and Zhonghou Zhao.
The United States Army New York City Recruiting Battalion serves over 1700 miles and 34 U.S. Army Recruiting Stations in New York City, Westchester and Long Island all led by Lieutenant Colonel Harold Morris, Battalion Commander.
Interested parties can visit the United States Army website at WWW.GOARMY.COM/NYC or call 1-800-USA ARMY or text “EMPIRE” to GOARMY.