WASHINGTON — After barely making their 2015 recruiting goal, The United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) is eliminating enlistment bonuses in their 2016 recruiting plan in order to heavily target a nearly unending source of manpower: Americans on government assistance.
According to USAToday, it was that demographic — unemployed adults around 35 – 40, with multiple kids, no healthcare, and the need to earn below 185% of the poverty line to maintain their welfare — who miraculously pushed the US Army over their goal earlier this September. Highlighting insanely low enlisted soldiers' pay and free healthcare, according to government manpower experts, is the next logical step.
Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) director Teresa A. McKay weighed in on the campaign's success, explaining how DFAS works cross-functionally with all of the armed forces to ensure that soldiers make "just enough" in case money becomes tight.
"Like any good business we always create 'back-doors' and 'levers' that we can pull in case funds become strained or unavailable," said McKay. "By purposely keeping lower enlisted pay rates below U.S. poverty guidelines, we can direct them to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or state run programs in order to redirect monies to more important programs like the 'lightning gun,' next-generation cold weather gear no one is allowed to wear, and the F-35."
Col. Patrick R. Michaelis, Commander of the Army's 2nd Recruiting Brigade, championed the "welfare initiative" after learning food stamp usage was on the rise in the military. He says that the strategy is the perfect solution to Millenials who want to send troops overseas but don't want to do any of the actual fighting.
"The tried-and-true demographic of adults 17 – 24 has been exhausted, literally," said Michaelis. "From what, I have no idea, but we're finding Gen X'ers who now take care of their Baby Boomer parents and are more than happy and financially destitute enough to join the military."
Former president Bill Clinton, who signed historic welfare reform legislation in 1995, commended the Army for solving their recruiting problem, but lamented to reporters that "this may really be the end of welfare as we know it."
"No, really," said Clinton, "the entire US military signed up for government assistance and simultaneously bankrupted programs in all 50 states."