Impact of Economy, Cutbacks on Military

Although no budget has been approved yet for the 2013 fiscal year, concerns have been raised over the military cutbacks that are expected.

Like any business or company, the active duty military has had to make cuts due to the downturn in the economy.

Newscenter 11 asked an Air Force recruiter about the current potential for those seeking a military career.

"Our retention rate is at a 17-year high," said TSGT Rodney Fortner. "So we've got more and more people who are wanting to stay in. That effects how many people we can put in."

Instead of putting a complete hiring freeze in place, Fortner says incentives have been given to those who are choosing not to reenlist.

"We still put in right around 28,000 people. We did cut over the last year approximately 3,000 active duty personnel through different programs," Fortner said. "A lot of those were voluntary programs, people getting out a little earlier than they would."

For local residents considering a career in the military, Fortner says the Air Force is still hiring even with the possibility of even more budget cuts.

"We are really looking for special operations," said Fortner. "Special operations is a career field people don't realize we have. Para rescue men, combat controllers, tactical airmen control party."

"I've always wanted to join the Air Force and become a police officer, and that's what I'll be doing, security forces," said Airman Amanda Ward.

It continues to be business as usual at Meridian's Air Force recruitment office.

"I've not really seen a really big impact on my level for the cuts," said Fortner. "There's a desire to serve your country here, a very strong desire here in this area. So I don't see any immediate cuts that I have faced at this area."

The rate of young people in Mississippi going into the military has been pretty steady over the last few years. About two out of every thousand people ages 18-24 enter. That rate ranks the state 33rd in the nation.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WTOK-TV 815 23rd Ave Meridian, Ms. 39301 Phone: (601) 693-1441
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 153816295 - wtok.com/a?a=153816295
Gray Television, Inc.