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The Army, in Need of Recruits, Turns Focus to Liberal-Leaning Cities



But some experts question whether the plans will make much of an impression on the target audience.

the Center for a New American Security, a research institute in Washington. She added, "Coders, engineers, women – are a lot of people out there that the Army could use as a place."

The Seattle recruiters often feel like they are getting nowhere. Two of them stood for hours at a recent job fair in the shadow of the Space Needle without getting a single prospect. An ultimate Frisbee coach with an engineering degree stopped to talk, but he said later that he did it mostly because they "looked a little lonely."

for a skateboard raffle, but none made an appointment to meet with a recruiter.

Even those who walk in to the recruiting station are not a sure bet. Myles Pankey, 19, fit the profile of a blue-city adventure seeker, showing up in jeans and a plaid flannel shirt. A year after graduating from one of the city's top high schools, he was working construction, which paid well but bored him. Following in his accountant's footsteps hero no appeal, he said; he wanted a challenge.

"If you were you, I would go infantry," Sergeant Vargas told him. "There's a $ 11,000 bonus right now if you can ship in a few weeks."

They talked more than an hour about opportunities in the Army, but Mr. Pankey said he felt pulled in many directions. His mother and father were crazy about him enlisting, he said. His boss, a former Special Forces soldier, had talked up the experience, but another friend who had served in Vietnam called it a terrible idea. None of his high school friends had joined, so hey going on his own. He finally told the sergeant he would wait a week before making his mind.

"I can get a good job here, but I want to serve my country," Mr. Pankey said on his way out. “I have some thinking to do.”


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