With unemployment so high, more people are turning to the military as a career option. But staffing issues at one local recruitment office are making it difficult for people to be all they can be. The Army recruitment office in Whiteville usually has three recruiters. But for the last two or three months, transfers and accidents have left just one recruiter to sign people up for service. The number of recruiters assigned to an office depends on an area's population. Two recruitment chairs in Whiteville have been empty for several months, leaving Sgt. Jonathan Welch as the only recruiter in the area. Sgt. Welch often visits schools to attract new recruits, but when he's out doing that, there's no one to take walk-ins at the office. The empty office has caused some confusion for people interested in signing up. "It can be done, it's a little bit more difficult, it can be strenuous," said Sgt. Welch. "If somebody else comes in here they'll pick it up right away. I mean it's not a problem. We're very well trained at what we do; to help, to counsel, to offer advice to people, and to put people in the Army." Sgt. Welch says the Army is working to transfer recruiters from other offices around the country. The new recruiters are expected to arrive next month. Last year the Army recognized the Whiteville recruitment office as one of the best small recruiting stations. If Sgt. Welch is not at the recruitment office and you'd like to sign up, you can reach him at (877) 369-0313.
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