Dragon -V- (dragonvpm) wrote,
Dragon -V-

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Uncle Sam Wants You (to role play)

Hmmm... perhaps it's just morbid curiosity, but I would actually consider doing this:

Military seeks role players for training

if not for the fact that I have a job, the role playing one doesn't pay all that well, and it would take up too much time (three to nine months is way too long).

All things considered, it's not a great job, but it would be an interesting one.

Military seeks role players for training

Vic Kolenc; El Paso Times

More than 300 people submitted applications Monday to be role players -- as Iraqi residents, religious leaders, government and law-enforcement officials -- in training exercises in the Fort Bliss area.

"The trend in the military is to do role playing on the (training) battlefield. It's more realistic" and presents "a lot more challenges" for the soldiers in training, said Bruce Schomaker, an official for SMI Global Mission Support, a Chantilly, Va., company looking for about 300 El Paso area residents to fill temporary role-playing jobs.

SMI and San Diego-based Cubic Defense Applications have a contract with the Army to provide role players for training exercises at Fort Bliss. Later, training may include role playing for Afghanistan. The companies provide the same service at Fort Polk, La., where about 800 role players hired for training started in May, Schomaker said.

Juan Angel Portillo, 53, said he was interested in a role-playing job because he lost his bail bondsman job about seven months ago and because he's interested in helping soldiers going to Iraq.

"If in any way I could help the soldiers, I'm more than willing," Portillo said. And it might look good on his résumé as he seeks a federal government job, he said.

Other job seekers had similar motivations.

Rosie Rios, who said she's been out of work since losing a factory job three years ago, said she'd like to help the military.

But the $6.25 an hour wage being offered isn't too appealing for a job that requires being out in the desert for long hours and that requires paying your own transportation and food costs, Rios said.

"I'd like to see what it entails, but it doesn't look too promising," Rios said.

The companies want people 18 and older who are bilingual in Spanish and English and have their own transportation to training sites on Fort Bliss, Biggs Army Airfield and MacGregor Range, Schomaker said. Jobs will last three to nine months, depending on the Army's needs, he said.

Spanish will be used in place of Arabic in the training exercises, he said.

The role playing "isn't dangerous, but it's not completely 100 percent safe," because people will be out in the heat in the desert, Schomaker said.

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