The number of high school seniors joining the military is on the rise here in East Tennessee.
Over the past four years, the number of senior enlistments has increased by 46 percent. Knoxville Company Captain Scott Glidden said there are multiple reasons more seniors are deciding sign up.
He said some people are just looking to better themselves personally, while others are looking to take advantage of the service's financial benefits.
By the numbers (Department of Defense, all branches):
- 2012-2013: 238 local high school senior enlistments
- 2011-2012: 214
- 2010-2011: 209
- 2009-2010: 163
"You can take a couple of years, build up some finances and have them help you pay to go to college," Glidden said.
Oliver Springs High School Senior Haley Fox, 18, enlisted in the Army reserves Monday. She said she took both factors into account.
"The military is a great place to get started and they pay for your education," she said. "With the economy going pretty low right now, it's great."
This is the 40th anniversary of the military's all-volunteer service, according to Glidden. He said the numbers are proof the Army's current system works.