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How the Coast Guard plans to boost recruitment after years of shortfalls

If you need to eat properly throughout your navy service, the U.S. Coast Guard is perhaps the navy department to be part of. And if you happen to be part of as a cook dinner, you are in line for one of the guard’s largest recruitment bonuses: $50,000. 

But bonuses aren’t every little thing, as Admiral Linda Fagan seeks to stem the recruiting shortfalls which have plagued the guard — like the different branches — in the previous few years. This year, the guard’s first girl commandant advised a congressional committee in July, the service is projected to miss its 4,200 goal by greater than 1,000 recruits. The service has missed its recruitment targets for the final 4 years, falling quick a median of 20% every year. 

“My battle cry is tomorrow looks different and so will we,” she advised CBS News in a latest interview. 

Last year, the Coast Guard carried out greater than 16,000 rescues and saved over 4,700 lives. Many of these rescues occurred throughout pure disasters like hurricanes, which have grow to be stronger due to local weather change. More not too long ago, it rescued a person who had fallen overboard on a cruise ship and who was close to loss of life after treading water for hours. 

One of the obstacles is that potential recruits do not know what the Coast Guard does, Fagan mentioned. While the service is finest identified for its search and rescue work, it additionally conducts counternarcotics operations, icebreaking in the Arctic to open shipping lanes and economic and national security opportunities, and it trains allies and companions in maritime practices. 

“We’re an arctic nation,” she mentioned “And so ensuring our own national security and sovereignty in the Arctic is critical work.” 

At the nation’s ports, the Coast Guard inspects incoming vessels for nefarious exercise earlier than the boats are allowed to enter. 

“We are at all times a military agency,” Fagan mentioned. “We’re a law enforcement agency [and] regulatory agency.” 

To entice new recruits, the service is providing bonuses up to $50,000. 

“One of the incentives is bonuses,” Fagan mentioned. “We have some targeted bonuses. $50,000 if you want to join the Coast Guard as a cook. We have world-class cooks in the Coast Guard. We certainly eat well in this organization.” 

But Fagan additionally mentioned bonuses are a Band-Aid in fixing the points. 

“My personal belief is if we don’t fundamentally alter some of the structure and assumptions around how we manage the workforce, the bonuses are a short-term fix,” she mentioned. 

The Coast Guard can also be providing a brand new English studying program to assist recruits who don’t communicate it as a primary language achieve extra proficiency. 

“Language should not be a barrier to service,” Fagan mentioned. 

It’s additionally changing the maximum age to enlist from 35 to 42, permitting single mother and father to enlist and reevaluating the debt necessities. 

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