Army Offering Recruits New Incentives - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Army Offering Recruits New Incentives

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UNION GAP, Wash. -- Central Washington is one of five places in the country where the Army is trying new incentives to help boost new recruitments.

The ongoing opposition to the war in Iraq, the struggling economy and poor academic scores are all part of the reason why the Army has seen so few recruits lately.

The recruitment office in Union Gap says new recruits in Central Washington are down almost 35 to 40-percent.    

Six months ago they rolled out a new one-year test program to help boost those numbers. If they bring positive results from Washington and the 4 other test locations they will begin to offer these incentives nationwide.

The Army is testing one big incentive specifically in the Yakima area.

"We will be able to fund up to 40-thousand-dollars for recruits to start their own business when after they are done serving or buy a house," said Capt. John Thiessen, of the Central Washington U.S. Army Recruiting Company.

The captain says one of the main problems in our area is many of the young men and women who come to sign up for the army don't have the required high school diploma or they aren't able to pass the entrance exam.

The army does allow them to retest, but they have to wait six months. They're hoping the new incentives will motivate them to get their diplomas so they can pass it the second time.