KENNEWICK, Wash. - The United States Army celebrates its best recruiting year in just under a decade, but local recruiters are struggling to keep up with the national trend.
It should be a happy day for Army recruiters across the country. Over the past 12 months the Army recruited 80,000 soliders. It marks the Army's best recruiting year since 1997.
However, local recruiters aren't meeting their goals. Recruiters at the Kennewick office said they only average 75 to 92 new recruits a year. Yakima's Army office isn't meeting its goals either. And recruiters said the reason why has been a lack of community involvement.
"Recruiting you have to be involved in the community. They have to know who you are, from the principal at the high school, counselors to the Chamber of Commerce. You have to be involved in local sports teams, everything," said MSG Kerry Thompson, U.S. Army Station Commander.
Thompson said there is hope for local recruiting numbers. In Kennewick the Army reports a jump in new recruits over the past two months. In fact the Army signed two new soliders this week.