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Army recruiting during the pandemic

Posted at 7:47 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 01:09:11-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — COVID-19 is another enemy of the army, which means that soldiers are needed, but army recruitment is no longer happening in-person.

Since March 18, recruiting offices are currently closed to the public here in Las Vegas and now recruiting is taking place virtually, to reduce exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, recruiters are posting in hopes that people who are interested in joining will make contact with them.

Captain Nivedan Reddy is the Las Vegas recruiting company commander and he is in charge of 83 members. His team usually enlists around 700 men and women from the area every year.

“Right now it's on pause, of where we’re at, usually we put many people in the army during the course of the year and right now it's not were it should be”, he says.

He’s confident that when the COVID-19 pandemic flattens out, they will be able to reach their enlistment goals.

For those who are interested, the steps and requirements to join the Army are the same.

After contacting a recruiter, you have to decide whether to join the Army as an enlisted Soldier or an officer, and if you want to be active duty or be part of the Army Reserves.

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After these decisions, you have to take the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and you must receive a physical and mental examination. You will also have to go through a background check.

If you enlist and sign a contract, you become a future soldier, while waiting to ship off to Basic Combat Training.

Currently, there are more than 200 future soldiers from the area and 75 of those are delayed from their Basic Combat Training, due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re not currently shipping at this time, we will do that once we’re authorized again”, says Captain Nivedan Reddy.

While the recruiters are in constant communication with them, they’re also looking out for their safety by doing a prescreening.

“First screening is at 15 days, second screening is three days before being shipped and the last screening is at one day, so is approximately, 72-24 hours… once that last screening is done, we actually have somebody to pick up the applicant, take them through the process of basic training”, explained the captain.

In reards to the current training that soldiers are doing in other parts of the country, Captain Nivedan Reddy says that the only change he’s aware of is “there’s an examination done when the actual applicant arrives at basic combat training and that was not done before COVID-19, so they actually do a testing procedure where they take the soldier’s temperature and check them and go through a series of checks to ensure they don’t have COVID-19 by the time that they arrive”.

Since the fight against COVID-19 is here in the US, the captain knows the Army is taking this very seriously and he wants to encourage everyone at home to do the same. “The only way we’ll get through this is working as a team."