U.S. Army recruiting online as offices close and basic training is put on hold

US Army Recruiting Center
Posted at 4:28 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 19:18:17-04

Although lots of army recruiting happens face-to-face, over the last couple of years, recruiters have been focusing more of their efforts online because, that’s where young people are.

"I’m talking Facebook, I'm taking Instagram, we’re talking emails, we’re taking texts,” said Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Fullerton.

It's a good thing they have, because Lieutenant Colonel Fullerton says all 37 brick-and-mortar recruiting stations across Northern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania are closed because of the pandemic.

Beyond changing the way they recruit, they’ve stopped sending soldiers to basic training for now, so lots of people’s lives are on pause.

"I was real excited and nervous all at the same time, leading up to that point in time so when I did learn it was delayed I was a little upset, a little sad about it. But I’ve just counted my blessings and maybe the good Lord has a plan for me,” said Garrett Warner.

Warner was suppose to leave for basic training March 30, but learned a few days earlier it's on hold.

Warner said he plans to "maybe get in some better shape and hang out with my friends and family until then."

Ashlee Dahman could soon be in the same boat.

Dahman said she is "just trying to remain flexible and handle this adversity as best as possible."

She’s finishing up her undergraduate degree from University of Connecticut, unfortunately, online now, and although she wasn’t set to leave for basic training until June, she knows that could be pushed back. She says at a time like this, she’s convinced she’s making the right choice.

"This is actually a great time to be able to serve and to show my dedication, not only to the country but also just to keep everyone safe,” she said.

Even folks who have been in the army for a while are seeing delays.

"Part of army life for a solider is a PCS, which is a permanent change of station, and right now we have kind of halted those permanent changes of station, that’s both within the United States and also to oversees — Germany Korea, Japan, other places like that,” Fullerton said.

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