Follow-Up Friday : Army and Maine National Guard Recruiting in The County

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 12:17 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -LTC. David Rodriguez - BN CDR - US Army New England Recruiting BN “historically, the state of Maine has answered the call to service and been a great supporter of the army”

According to the US Census Bureau , Maine has the fifth highest percentage of military service among the 50 states, but even Maine’s exceptional numbers weren’t enough to stop the challenges faced by the pandemic.

SGT Audriana Willey - Recruiting and Retention NCO - ME National Guard " over the past 12 months DOD wide it has actually been quite a struggle in recruiting

LTC Rodriguez " last year we did ok and this year we are definetly on track where if we stay on track in the Bangor area. So we have a station in Bangor that services the northern part of Maine, and so they are on track to double last year”

To aid in their recruitment efforts, the army has released a new campaign slogan, which is also a throwback to the 80′s

LTC Rodriguez " they’re releasing the new campaign but its really the one that was back in the 80s and it’s the be all you can be campaign that I grew up with”

With recruiters resuming high school visits, now that pandemic restrictions have lifted, they’re also relying on a new tool to communicate with potential recruits

SGT Willey " so social media actually plays a huge impact because that is the basis of communication nowadays so as a recruiting NCO we are relying a lot on social media to find people”

And while the active duty army and Maine national guard have similar but different missions, both have a number of benefits and opprotunities including education benefits, medical and dental care, and the opprotunity to explore the world among others

LTC Rodriguez " what we want to do is provide an opprotunoity and provide a possability for people who are looking for an adventure other than just go right into college”

1SG Cheyenne Polchies " being in the national guard you have the possibility that you could be home for your entire 20 years or you could possibly deploy, but at the same time we have overseas training options that we get to do”

LTC Rodriguez " it’s amazing the amount of opprotunities that once you join the military, so I was able to get my masters degree at no cost to myself, the army paid for that, and then all the different computer certifications, wether that be a Cisco certification, a comptia certification "

But one thing that everyone who has served agree on is the sense of pride that comes from military service

MG Farnham " and I think a lot of times people dont understand or realize the value of pride you get when you get up in the morning and put the uniform on, it means something. A lot of people say the perpensity to serve is down a little bit but once you’ve raised your right hand and sworn into the service it’s something that you take pride in every single day and 20, 30 years after youve done it you’re still proud”

Overall, while the past year has presented recruitment challenges, the Maine national guard and us army new England recruiting battalion remain dedicated to recruiting new members and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth.