Iraqi Army recruiting held in Ramadi

Blackanthem Military News, RAMADI, Iraq, March 28, 2006 12:35


Iraqi Army candidates go through the Biometrics Automated Tool Set (BATS) registration process. The iris scan is one of the features of the BATS process.

Twenty eight Iraqi Army (IA) recruits were cleared to attend the next Basic Combat Training Academy, during an IA recruiting event, held at the Ramadi Glass Factory, on March 27, 2006.

The IA recruiting process is overseen by the Ministry of Defense (MOD), and this recruiting event marks the first time that MOD held an IA recruiting event in the Provincial capital city of Ramadi; a former insurgent stronghold.

"Even if only one recruit showed up today, this would have been a success. Ramadi is a very difficult and active city, and MOD has had a tough time enlisting IA recruits from this Area," said Marine Capt. Selden Hale, Recruiting Advisor under the Joint Headquarters Transition Team for Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq (MNSTC-I). "Today we have the Iraqi Army Soldiers providing security for local Ramadi citizens that volunteered to sign up for the Iraqi Army. It’s a good day and a great start for Ramadi, this is a true indicator of the progress being made over the past few months," said the Amarillo, Texas, resident.

The IA recruits will attend a 5 week Basic Combat Training Academy in Habbaniyah. The academy will provide training in the following areas: weapons training, physical fitness training, laws of war and basic Soldiering skills.

"All of today’s recruits will be assigned to the 1st & 7th IA divisions that currently operate in Ramadi. Providing security, creating jobs and helping to build the local economy is how Ramadi will benefit from the IA. Once the 1st and 7th Divisions fill their allocated personnel fill, future recruits will be placed with other Divisions," said Marine Maj. Timothy Burton. He is a member of the MOD operations section for the 1 Marine Expeditionary Force (1MEF), and a resident of Belmont, Mississippi.

Eligible IA candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 45, provide a valid form of identification, and must be in good medical health. Prior to the beginning the recruiting process, all candidates were carefully screened and searched by Iraqi Army Soldiers. Once in the interior of the Glass Factory, IA candidates went through a series of stations that were comprised of: personnel interview, medical screening, Biometrics Automated Tool Set (BATS) registration, and the exit personnel interview.

"My family encouraged me to sign up for the Iraqi Army. Security is a problem in this area and it’s up to the men of the city to take a stance against the violence and help build our new government," said a local Iraqi man, as he waited to be checked by an Iraqi medical doctor.

"Iraqi Army recruits sign up for a two year commitment, but there is no current directive or policy that forces Iraqi Army Soldiers to stay in the Military. MOD is currently working on policies and regulations to address this matter," said Capt. Hale.

"With the new government in place, Iraq is heading in the right direction. I drove here from Jazeera to sign up for the Iraqi Army," said an Iraqi Army Candidate.


By Capt. Alfred A. Smith 2/28 BCT



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