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The Daily Tar Heel

Military Enlistment Levels Off After Initial Increase

But since the 112 percent increase in applications, Naval recruitment officials said the number of prospective recruits has returned to normal.

The U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion located in Raleigh said although the Army has not seen a significant increase in applicants, there has been an influx of phone inquiries.

The battalion usually enlists 400 soldiers every month and sends 2,600 soldiers to basic training.

Officials said this number is not expected to change, despite the recent tragedies and calls for retaliation.

Maj. Michael James of the Military Entrance Processing Station in Raleigh said although there might be an increase in applicants now, there is not an increase in the overall number of soldiers because of the time it takes to actually be enlisted.

"All the kids come through us. ... We test them (physically) ... and make sure they're morally fit for the Army," he said.

"We haven't seen an increase in the enlistment of troops, but you have to remember that the enlistment process takes quite a long time."

Capt. Craig Marks, the enrollment officer for UNC Army ROTC, said UNC students who are enlisted in the military reserves will not be recruited for service even though many of them are ready and willing.

"They will not be considered because they are useless until they have completed their studies and finished officer's training," he said.

Among those reserves is sophomore Patrick Craven, who is attending UNC after four years of active duty in the military.

Craven said the decision to withhold student reserves from active duty is beneficial to the military because those students are more valuable after further training.

"It's not worth it to the taxpayers to call us up when we don't yet have the experience necessary to lead groups of 30 or more people," Craven said.

"Even in Vietnam, as bad as that was, the military did not call up its ROTC students."

But Craven added that while he is happy to complete his training on campus, he has felt the urge to serve his country abroad.

"I'm content to remain here and finish my training," he said.

"But if they find who's responsible, I wish they would take me along with them."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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