Recent job seekers reading classified ads in some of America's newspapers may have been attracted by an almost-too-good-to-be-true sounding job offer headlined "Nuclear Employment Opportunities Now Available." According to the ad, a college degree is not required, and successful completion of a training program earns you a $2,000 bonus. Additionally, the ad offers "guaranteed job placement and job security," a month's vacation a year, free medical and dental care, "plus many more tax-free incentives and benefits."
What the ad doesn't say is: Welcome to the U.S. Navy.
"There are quite a few people who would not even consider the military for training in the nuclear power field because of the negative attitude toward it, so most of our ads are blind ads," said Jay Hardy, the man who answered "District Personnel Office," when we called the too-free number listed in an ad a couple of weeks ago.
The Navy began running blind, or unidentified, ads about five years ago, according to Capt. Charles Hawkins, the director of Navy recruiting advertising for the United States. While many private companies run blind ads so current employes or competitors won't know what management has in mind, the Navy's problem is slightly different.
"As you're probably aware, there is sometimes still a reluctance or shyness about people contacting a military recruiter," says Hawkins. "Our use of unidentified ads is designed to breach that reluctance."
Hawkins says the ads save the taxpayers money they're a lot cheaper than the more familiar large print ads or radio and televisioh spots touting action and adventure in exotic ports.
But in the Washington area, at least, those blind ads are being halted.
According to Jim Baron, a public affairs officer with the Navy Recruiting District that includes parts of Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, "we're not getting the quality of people we really desire" with the blind ads.
Baron says the blind ads have drawn too many people who "have been out of work for awhile andd there's a reason. Either they just got out of jail, or something. So we're really going all out on Navy quality."
And from now on, at least in the Washington area, the Navy is putting its name where its ads are.