U.S. Army recruiters in Alabama say that recruitment numbers in the state are solid.
Recruiters in Dothan report it may be because of the great benefits for enlistees including education funding.
Dothan Recruiting Company Commander Annette Garrett said, "In Alabama, there's a high number of people to join the military. A lot of people join because of family traditions; others join as duty to their country. Some do it for a better life."
No matter what the reason is, recruitment rates in Alabama are strong.
That is according to the Dothan Army Recruitment Company.
Commander Emmanuel Bryant, with the Dothan Recruiting Station said, "Currently, numbers are up. Young men and women wanna’ change their life and go into the Army."
There are a lot of incentives offered to enlistees, including the G.I. Bill that can help pay for education, or, the Army Advantage Fund, which can give a soldier up to $40,000 dollars for a down payment on a home or to start a business.
Recently, two brothers from Northview High School joined the Army.
U.S. Army Reserve Sergeant George Gamble said, "They will be in the same unit, both of them will go to Troy State College and go on to become officers in the Army."
School officials say that if a student isn't ready for college right out of high school, the service may be a good opportunity. That way afterwards, they can still get an education.
Northview High School Principal Ron Snell said, "What we want from the school side of it is a post secondary career; one route would be through the military and it’s an excellent incentive program and package that’s out there."
Commander Garrett added, "It’s the best thing for a man or woman if they are unsure about their future."
Because of the troops effort, Commander Garrett said, "In reference to the war in Iraq, it’s going very well. The military is doing a great job; soldiers have learned a lot of casualties are down and soldiers are providing freedom for people, and Americans take that for granted."
And, officials say that because everyone deserves a second chance, citizens with a criminal record can enlist, but it depends on how serious the crime is.