Why the Army is targeting Houston for recruits

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- If you're unemployed, or worried about taking on student loan debt during the pandemic, the Army could be an option. The military branch is conducting a hiring event soon where you could get a bonus.

Next week, the U.S. Army will be hosting its first ever virtual recruiting event. The goal is to hire 10,000 recruits, who will each receive a $2,000 bonus.

Houston is one of the targeted cities and Army leaders spoke with ABC13 about why.

"We know Houston is a vibrant, diverse community, and your Army is a reflection of this community," Sgt. Major Michael Grinston explained.

The effort is called, "Army Hiring Days." There are 150 different full-time, and part-time positions.

Leaders told ABC13 they need to do this because the pandemic paused recruiting efforts, and they need new members.

"Social distancing has impacted our ability to process new applicants and send new recruits to training," Lt. Col. Barry Winnegan said.

As the coronavirus continues to be a concern, Army leaders explained that new recruits that attend basic training will be placed in small groups for two weeks, and each person will receive a test.

"What we found is not everybody in America is getting a test, but every soldier that comes into the Army will get tested," Grinston said.

The hiring event is from June 30 until July 2. In addition to a hiring bonus, recruits could receive tuition assistance, or up to $40,000 in bonuses.

"A typical 18-year-old that joins the military, by the age of 26 is not only going to have a college degree, but often times has an advanced degree, and they have no student debt," U.S. Army Civilian Aide Anthony Detoto told ABC13.

The hiring event isn't just for positions that require recruits to go overseas for combat. The Army also assists in national disasters, including hurricanes, and coronavirus support, including vaccine research.

To learn more about the positions, visit the Army's website.

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