Posted January. 07, 2005 23:05,
On January 7, the military announced that it has ended the recruitment of new troops to send to Iraq to replace part of the Zaytun Unit, and some 8,000 soldiers applied for the 1,700 slots, recording a 4.9:1 ratio of competition.
According to the military, the ratio of applicants to slots varies in each rank; the ratio for civilian servicemen was 9.8:1, warrant officers 7.5:1, officers 6.7:1, soldiers 4.6:1, and noncommissioned officers 4.4:1. In the case of women soldiers, 35 officers and 77 noncommissioned officers applied. This ratio is lower than that of the first recruitment of the Zaytun Unit, which was 14.8:1, on average. One official in the military explained, As the extension motion passed the National Assembly belatedly, the recruiting period was shorter. Also, the qualifications became much tougher for applicants, as now they must state their ranks, branches, and specialties.
Among the new troops, a military band will be included which consists of an officer, a noncommissioned officer, and 23 soldiers, to boost the morale of the unit and take part in ceremonies and civil operations. This is the first time since the Vietnam War that a military band will be dispatched overseas.
Among the 3,600 Zaytun Unit soldiers, 1,700 are finishing their duties at the end of February, and the new troops will take their place.