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Network World - The U.S. Army has a new recruiting tool on www.goarmy.com. It’s called SGT STAR, an artificial intelligence program that can answer questions from recruits in a conversational style (see The new Army recruiter who never goes to sleep). Here are some questions I asked SGT STAR, and his responses.
What is your favorite color?
I am partial to red, white, blue and of course good ol’ Army green!
What is it like in Iraq?
In times of war, deployment is likely. The possibility of deployment depends on your MOS (military occupational specialty) and unit of assignment. All soldiers must be strong, trained and ready upon assignment to a unit and prior to any deployment, including training exercises, humanitarian missions or combat operations. In general, deployments last a year or less.
Do you have a girlfriend?
I am married. Mrs. Star is my boss.
Will the United States invade Iran?
I’m here to help you navigate through goarmy.com and answer your questions about the Army. I’m not here to discuss politics.
Why should I join the Army?
Leadership and training are some of the benefits of becoming a soldier in the U.S. Army. There are also many programs available that help pay for your college education and incentives if you enlist for certain jobs. In addition, there are veteran and retirement benefits and facilities that make sure you and your family are taken care of.
Is the Army a good place to meet girls?
There are many benefits to joining the Army. The Army can help you pay for college, earn valuable job skills, allow you to travel and introduce you to new people and experiences.
Can I join the army if I am gay?
The current Department of Defense policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is still in effect. During your enlistment process, Army recruiters will not ask you about sexual preferences. Federal law recognizes this area as personal and private to the extent applicants and soldiers keep their preferences to themselves.
Will I be given a gun?
During basic training you will learn basic rifle marksmanship and are required to qualify as marksman, sharpshooter or expert on the M16A2 rifle to graduate. Throughout your Army enlistment, you may be given opportunities to train on a variety of other weapons.
How much vacation time will I be given?
Time off is an important component of Soldier life and well-being. Soldiers on active duty receive 30 days vacation earned annually, weekends free, national holidays and sick days as needed. They are free to travel as they wish. However, similar to many jobs, time off is dependent on the mission.
What is the food like?
The dining facilities in the Army are open to all soldiers in a cafeteria-style setting. Meals are balanced and choices are plentiful. The majority of Army posts worldwide also have fast food restaurants. During training in the field, soldiers are provided MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) which are prepacked field rations.
What happens if I go AWOL?
AWOL stands for absent without leave. Soldiers who go AWOL can be subject to discipline under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.