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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Yusufiyah-area Men Flock to IP Recruitment Drive

27 Jun 07
Courtesy Story

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Over 1,200 Iraqi men came to Joint Security Station in Yusufiyah during a three-day police recruitment drive that ended June 25.

The drive, orchestrated by the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) from Fort Drum, N.Y., the 23rd Military Police Company, 503rd MP Battalion, 16th MP Brigade, from Fort Bragg, N.C., and the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, began June 23 to increase Iraqi police manning in the 4-31 “Polar Bears’” area of operations.

The goal was to find 200 qualified Iraqi police officers. When the drive began at 8 a.m., there were almost 200 men waiting in line to apply.

Gen. David Petraeus, the Multi-National Force-Iraq commander, visited the recruitment efforts the first day and spoke to several potential recruits and encouraged them to serve their country.

Five hundred seventy-seven applicants were processed the first day. Another 150 were waiting in line the second day and by mid-afternoon 361 had filled out applications and spoken with the troops.

Officials accepted 252 applications on June 25.

The surplus applications – including one from a local woman - will be kept and as the JSS expands, those individuals will be the first called for new hires.

Applicants represented all major Sunni and Shia tribes in the area with the majority coming from Yusufiyah and Mulla Fayad. Also represented was Carguoli Village, a longtime hotbed of terrorist activity, which has recently begun making strides toward peace.

Each applicant completed a basic literacy test. Other requirements included being between the ages of 20 and 35, not being part of the Iraqi army, having no ties to extremist groups, and a willingness to move at the government’s need. Applicants must be Iraqi citizens. The recruits’ records will be checked by the Ministry of the Interior to prevent terrorist groups from infiltrating into the IP forces.

Photo - Capt. Brent Dittenber, commander, Alpha Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), from Fort Drum, N.Y., checks the names of applicants for the Iraqi police force with Iraqi army staff officers. The recruitment drive was June 23-25. Photo courtesy of Joint Combat Camera Center.

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