Yahoo enlisted for recruiting help

The Internet portal Yahoo has volunteered for service with the Defense Department, launching a campaign featuring military jobs as fantasy careers.

Yahoo's contest requires participants to write an essay about why they would enjoy a career in the U.S. military. The effort kicked off last week and will last through July 4.

Looking for innovative ways to enhance recruitment, the Pentagon came up with the following prize packages:

    * The Air Force has agreed to allow winners to spend two days as an honorary F-15 fighter jet pilot. Winners will be assigned an aircraft and call sign, attend flight planning briefings, participate in a flight simulator and then fly in the supersonic plane.

    * The Navy fantasy job includes a flight to an aircraft carrier aboard a twin-engine C2A Greyhound turboprop and then steering the 90,000-ton carrier and directing takeoffs and landings on deck.

    * The Army has arranged for winners to pilot an Apache helicopter and to parachute with the Golden Knights.

    * The Marine Corps intends to send lucky contest winners to basic training.

    * The Coast Guard will allow winners to train with rescue swimmers, ride in a self-righting boat and participate in helicopter rescue training.

"This is a way for ordinary people from Main Street, U.S.A., to connect with extraordinary people doing exciting, thrilling and challenging jobs while serving their country," said Yvette Brown-Wahler, DOD's assistant director for recruiting plans.

Wannabe military careerists can register for the contest through the Yahoo Fantasy Careers page. Prizes include round-trip airfare, accommodations, meals, ground transportation and up to five days in the military.

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