US Military Woos Recruits With Citizenship Offer

Armed forces to recruit temporary immigrants
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 15, 2009 7:02 AM CST
US soldiers inspect the aftermath of a car bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, this week.   (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
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(Newser) – Aiming to swell its ranks as it fights two wars, the US military will offer skilled temporary immigrants who enlist a shot at becoming citizens in just six months, the New York Times reports. Immigrants with temporary visas who have been in the US at least two years will now be eligible to join up in a move military leaders hope will create better-educated, more professionally experienced forces with greater foreign-language abilities.

“The American Army finds itself in a lot of different countries where cultural awareness is critical,” said its recruitment head. Immigrants with green cards have been able to enlist since soon after 9/11, but the military delayed allowing immigrants with temporary visas to enlist because officials feared controversy. The idea provoked several angry comments from officers and vets on, the Times notes.