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Image of Pentagon oval   United States Department of Defense
News Release

  No. 720-04

DoD Approves Army Plan to Reach Out to Sailors, Airmen

The Department of Defense announced today that sailors and airmen are now able to "Go Army" under a new program intended to rebalance the size of the military.

The program will generate new opportunities for continued service and career advancement for those willing to transfer into the Army from other services.

Under "Operation Blue to Green," the Army will reach out to sailors and airmen and underscore the advantages of swapping their present uniform for Army green.

Among them is the faster pace of Army promotions. For example, a soldier pins on the rank of E-6 at least four years quicker than an airman holding the same skill.

"We admire everyone who serves in the nation's uniform," said Lt. Gen. Buster Hagenbeck, the Army's uniformed personnel chief. "But I know that anyone who looks closely at today's Army will find a lot to be excited about. We are growing, and we need experienced people to lead that transition."

Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have shown an interest in increasing the Army's strength over the next few years. In fiscal 2005, the Navy is planning a force reduction of 8,000 while the Air Force trims more than 20,000 over the same period.

The Army plans to use bonuses to stimulate the needed accessions and to carefully guide the experience mix so that promotions stay strong. The focus of the effort centers on grades E1-E5, but other grades will be considered in meeting Army needs. For example, the Army will continue to have a sizeable demand in the areas of law enforcement, health care, communications and intelligence.

"There are 120 Air Force specialty codes that will transfer into 37 Army military occupational specialties (MOSs) and the Navy has 112 ratings that will transfer into 42 Army MOSs," said Col. Norvel Dillard, the chief of the Army's Enlisted Accessions Division. "Those are job one, but we're looking at others as well. We're also looking for junior officers."

In the past few weeks, more than 1,000 sailors and airmen have gone to http://www.goarmy.com/btg/index.jsp, answered a questionnaire and indicated intent to transfer. Nearly three-fourths of those exploring the option say they are "very interested" or "ready to transfer."

The Army's recruiting goal for the next fiscal year is about 80,000. Of that number, the Army hopes to recruit at least 8,000 prior service troops.


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