Esmita Spudes Bidari, a legal migrant from Nepal, has recently joined the U.S. Army Reserves as part of an aggressive campaign by the U.S. military to enlist immigrants, offering a fast track to citizenship as an incentive. This is a response to recruiting shortfalls in both the Army and the Air Force, with the U.S. military expanding their outreach and employing recruiters who share similar backgrounds with potential recruits to increase enlistment.
- The U.S. military has been more aggressively recruiting legal immigrants, offering a path to citizenship for those who enlist, as a means of overcoming recruitment shortfalls.
- The Army and the Air Force have broadened their outreach efforts, especially in inner cities, using social media, pamphlets, and recruiters with similar backgrounds to potential recruits.
- While the military has seen success in recruiting immigrants seeking job opportunities, education benefits, and fast-track citizenship, these recruits often require additional security screening and assistance with paperwork, especially if English is not their first language.
- Despite these efforts, both the Army and the Air Force are not expected to meet their recruitment goals this year, leading to various new recruitment programs and incentives. The Marine Corps is the only service on track to meet its recruitment target.
- A key challenge for this initiative is identifying geographic pockets of immigrant populations, finding effective ways to reach them, and assisting interested individuals to navigate complex military recruiting applications and procedures.