US Military seeks foreigners for medical, linguist jobs

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Sun Dec 7 18:25:34 UTC 2008

Military seeks foreigners for medical, linguist jobs

December 5, 2008 04:52 PM
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon announced late this afternoon that it will
seek to recruit up to 1,000 foreigners living in the United States on
work or student visas in an unprecedented effort to fill critical
shortfalls in the military ranks, including medical personnel and
foreign language specialists. The year-long experiment, approved by
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, was determined "vital to the
national interest" at a time when the military is need of additional
doctors and nurses to treat wounded troops and is operating in a
variety of countries where it has little cultural understanding.

The US military has long accepted noncitizens who are permanent
residents of the United States and hold green cards. The new effort,
which has been under consideration for several years, allows the Army,
Navy, Marines and Air Force to tap into the thousands of foreigners
studying in the United States or working here temporarily as legal

"The bottom line is that the Department of Defense has a critical need
for qualified health care professionals and people with language and
associated culture capabilities," said Eileen Lainez, a Pentagon
spokeswoman. "Legal aliens have enriched our forces by supporting our
nation in previous wars, and their unique backgrounds are especially
valuable in today's global war on terror."

There are about 29,000 non-citizens serving in the military now. Some
national security leaders have been cautious to open up the ranks to
more foreigners in recent years fearing what Max Boot, a senior fellow
at the Council on Foreign Relations, calls a "nativist backlash."

But Boot, who has long advocated recruiting more qualified noncitizens
into the military in return for expedited citizenship said yesterday's
announcement is "a good start."

"It is a recognition of there are a lot of people who want to serve
who could make a significant contribution," Boot said. "We need
soldiers who can interact and understand local populations without a
translator. I wish the program were larger, but I am glad they are at
least opening the door a crack and hope it will open more in the

Gates, who President-elect Barack Obama announced this week will stay
on as defense secretary indefinitely, is using for the first time a
law passed three years ago that outside groups have criticized, saying
the Pentagon would essentially be using mercenaries to defend the
country, could jeopardize national security, or at the very least
reflect badly on Americans' willingness to serve in uniform.

The move, first reported by the Associated Press, also comes at a time
when service members are re-enlisting in droves because of the bleak
job market and when the military is finally meeting its overall
recruiting goals after years of struggling to do so during two wars.

 Previous Entry Next Entry  < Back to Front Page3 comments so far...

1.I think its a good idea. As long as they are here legally (if only
temporarily) they can use this to expedite the process of applying for
permanent legal citizenship.......I guess in reality there won't be
much of an incentive there though since we don't enforce our
immigration laws to begin with, and the new administration coming in
could care less about the issue.

Posted by Dave December 5, 08 07:16 PM 2.Yeah cause this worked out so
well for the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the British Empire,

So much for an army of citizen soldiers in a republic. Here come the

Posted by JDC63 December 6, 08 07:43 PM 3.I don't think illegal
immigrant is the winning issue for the Republican in the future rather
it's their everlasting defeat.What is the real threat in this nation
is TERRORISM and not illegal immirants sorry people but thats the
truth and I'm amazed the amount of time and money the Republican is
spending in beating the wrong horse.Of course there are people came
here from many parts of the world whether legally or illegally for a
better future but because of cultural,tradition,racial and languages
shouldn't be look at it as part of the terrorism problem.Most people
came here for good intention and purpose for their childrens and
families just like the Pilgrims and all immigrants arrived in this
land long ago.If this years election signal any problematic issue for
the GOP in the future it's the immigration issue.If by Gods will to
leave his children seek freedom in this promise land Barrack Obamas
victory surely is the first sign.
N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner
or sponsor of
the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
disagree with a
message are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list