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Pentagon needs to adapt to recruit top talent: Carter

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaks during a joint press conference at Camp David March 23, 2015 in MarylandThe US military needs to give its troops and new recruits better career options due to increasing competition for talent from private companies, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday. The Pentagon chief called for a more innovative approach that could include easing enlistment standards for cyber-related jobs, allowing troops to take a break from service to get a degree, expanding retirement benefits to more personnel and paying off debt for university graduates. To ensure the military retains “excellence in our ranks,” the Defense Department must “make sure we remain attractive,” Carter said at a televised event at Syracuse University in New York state. Since taking over as Pentagon chief in February, Carter has frequently voiced concerns about recruitment and ensuring the most skilled service members stay in uniform after two protracted ground wars.

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