Unstable economy feeds military recruiting numbers

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- More people in the Midlands are joining the military because finding work has been a challenge.

"When I got out it was real tough to find a job. So I decided to take a different route," said Matthew Harris.

Harris joined The United States Army right out of school.

"My parents were military but I told them I TMd never be in the military," said Harris.

According to The Department of Defense, military recruiting numbers far exceeded its goal for fiscal year 2011.

The army setting aside about 33,000 spots however 34,000 people enlisted.

Columbia army recruiting officials say the Midlands is a big part of this.

"It's because of the uncertain state of the economy we are in. As well as the forty recruiters in the Columbia area who are positive faces in the community," says Sergeant First Class Myron Adams.

Sgt First Class Adams says the army's benefits such as health care, a housing stipend and sign-up bonuses seem to be major deciding factors for new recruits.

"Nervous about the uncertainties, not necessarily deployment Afghanistan or going overseas just the uncertainly of what TMs next, says Adams.

Adams says the Midlands army offices are seeing an up tick in applicants.

But he adds the economy is also affecting what they can offer.

"We also take a hit so the bonuses have decreased actually joining the army is the biggest benefit," Adams.

Army officials also use a recruiting kiosk at their office.

Potential soldiers can pick a profile and actually view the life of a soldier first hand.

As for Matthew Harris he says this is a bittersweet moment. He TMs scheduled to leave for training May 17th.

Find an military recruiter near you.