The US Department of Defense recently announced the launching of a new recruiting program that is designed to attract immigrant healthcare workers, linguists and also cultural specialists to serve in the military. The new program targets immigrants who can legally work in the US but do not have “Green Cards”-Permanent Resident Status.
In a released official statement, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy, Bill Carr said the program will attract immigrants with capabilities highly valued by the Military. Carr said these individuals will be
“…people that are legally present in the United States and have been here for years…people whom our military needs for the services they can provide for our country”.
The launching of this new recruiting program was due to the growing need of healthcare professionals, like doctors, nurses, and also professionals vested and proficient in other cultures and particular foreign languages needed by the military.
It is expected that the program will help the Defense Department in maintaining its healthcare staff requirements, and also help in its cultural awareness drive. Undersecretary Carr noted in his press release that the DOD was short of staff in these professions, and that other accessions programs failed to attract the desired number and targeted professionals.
Carr went further to say that the focus on foreign nationals was as a result of an observation of tens of thousands of healthcare professionals in the US on a work visa who would be interested in achieving ‘Green Card’ status and ultimately citizenship.
The new recruiting program will provide successful applicants with a means to achieve their citizenship in the quickest way possible, so long as they are willing to serve the nation in this time of great need. All those applying will undergo security screenings and also will be required to meet the same high standards expected of anyone entering any military service today.
In his final words, Undersecretary Carr noted that foreign nations have provided exemplary military service throughout the nation’s history. He also stated that if the program were to succeed, it will leave the DOD with
“…a stronger medical care capacity, particularly in skills we’re short of, as well as provide the DOD with the much needed linguists and cultural specialists”.
About 8,000 foreign nationals sign up for military services annually. Today, there is an estimated 29,000 non-citizens serving in the US military.