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Phoenix Central recruiters brief future health professionals

Staff Sgt. Robert Hanners, a recruiter for West Ridge Recruiting Center, Phoenix Central Recruiting Company, talks to high school students about the differences between serving on active duty and the Army Reserve, at the Arizona Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Fall Leadership Extravaganza, Nov. 7, Phoenix Convention Center. (U.S. Army Photo by Alun Thomas, USAREC Public Affairs)

Story by Alun Thomas

U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion – Phoenix

PHOENIX – Recruiters from Phoenix Central Recruiting Company briefed future health care professionals on opportunities available in the U.S. Army, at the Arizona Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Fall Leadership Extravaganza (FLEX), Nov. 7, Phoenix Convention Center.

HOSA’s mission is defined as enhancing the delivery of compassionate, quality health care by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all health science education students, helping the student meet the needs of the health care community.

The FLEX was the 9th year the conference has taken place, with Phoenix Central’s presentation being one of 60 workshop sessions available to the 2600 people who attended the event.

Briefing the audience was Staff Sgt. Robert Hanners and Sgt. 1st Class Rolanda Praymous, both recruiters for West Ridge Recruiting Center.

Hanners said the Army provides over 150 job opportunities, with many in the medical field, while dispelling some contemporary beliefs about serving.

“There are lots of other jobs in the Army besides combat. That’s what a lot of people think the Army is however – blowing things up and kicking in doors,” Hanners said. “I’ve been in the Army 14 years, deployed three times and never kicked in a door or fired a weapon in combat. Some people choose to do that, but there’s a lot of jobs available for those who don’t want to.”

Many of the jobs are administrative positions that ensure the warfighters are properly equipped with the resources to do their jobs, he said.

Hanners also talked about the differences between serving on active duty and in the Army Reserve, and the benefits of both.

“Active duty has two to six year contracts, so you know exactly how long you’re serving before you sign up,” Hanners said. “The reserve is a six year contract that has to be served.”

Praymous spoke about some of the requirements necessary to join the Army, including being a high school graduate.

“You definitely want to have your diploma before you try and enlist, and we can help you with that,” she said. “You also have to complete the ASVAB (Army Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). No matter what job or branch you want, you have to take it. The higher you score the better, especially for jobs in the medical field.”

Physical conditioning is also critical, Praymous said, with only 3 out of 10 of today’s youth currently meeting the bare minimum requirements necessary to serve.

“In order to join the military, in any branch, there’s a certain weight you have to be, based on your height and body fat percentage,” Praymous explained. “There are also certain medical conditions you can’t have while serving. That’s something your recruiter can sit down and explain to you.”

“In a nutshell we want to make sure you’re healthy, so you won’t have any issues completing basic training and anything required of you as a Soldier” she continued.

Hanners discussed the monetary benefits, including the Army paying for a college education, and the job experience a Soldier will have received upon leaving the Army.

“The Army will pay for your college education, while you gain the experience necessary at the job of your choice,” he said. “The Army will let you into a medical job with zero experience, straight out of high school. You’ll get that work experience while working on your degree at the same time.”

“It’s nice to be able to get both of those, while going into the field you want to,” Hanners said. “That’s what the Army can do for you.”

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