Wednesday, June 5, 2013
With Chile's Economy Flourishing, Armed Forces Find Fewer Volunteers
The armed forces had enough volunteers to fill this year's conscription rolls without resorting to a compulsory draft, just like they have every year since the volunteer system started. But fewer men and women signed up than last year. With Chile's economy humming along and offering plenty of job opportunities for young people, the Army, Navy and Air Force are having to compete more for workers than in the past, according to The Santiago Times. This year, the military is offering more housing, education, pay and job-training incentives. After the admissions process was done, the Army had added 10,000 volunteer soldiers this year. That included the first group of volunteers from Easter Island. The Army's new professional soldier program has meant a reduction in the number of volunteer positions available. The Navy took in 360 men and women conscripts. Last year, student protests slowed the armed services' recruitment drive. But the movement has quieted down some, and it was not cited as a factor in this year's smaller volunteer class.