Friday, June 20, 2008

Army Guard Recruiting Efforts Address Chaplain Shortage

Part of the success story for recruiting within the National Guard has been the ability to bring more chaplains into the Army Guard. In 2005, the service was short 450 chaplains. New recruiting strategies have cut that shortage in half and officials expect to close it completely within two years. “The last three years have set records,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Timothy Baer, chief of specialty branch recruiting at the National Guard Bureau. “We’re just taking off.” He said the effort faced a significant hurdle from the outset. “We’ve had a lot of mandatory retirements because of age,” he said. “In the midst of these losses, we still were able to excel at our mission.”

Baer said the reason for the successful recruiting of chaplains is a series of efforts put in place to address the problem head-on. For one, he said, the service used chaplains to recruit chaplains, rather than leave the task solely to general recruiters, a first for the Guard. Also, incentives were improved, to include a $10,000 chaplain bonus and a $30,000 critical skills retention bonus. Plus, Baer said, the recruiters are telling the story better. “The chaplains are an emissary of grace in this atmosphere of war,” he said. “Many people didn’t realize what a chaplain does. It’s taking care of soldiers and that resonates with people.”

Meanwhile, the National Guard reversed a 10-year decline in the recruitment of doctors, dentists and physician assistants in 2007 with a 20 percent increase in those specialties. Recruiters expect a 60 percent increase for 2008.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be respectful of others, so they may be respectful to you. Have a blessed day.