The military has more than 5,000 recruiting facilities across the U.S., though, so not all offices will get these panels. It's unclear whether other solicitations for additional protective panels will follow.
Congress has transferred funding from each of the services to the Army so that the Corps of Engineers could upgrade security at all
of the more than 5,000 military
recruiting facilities, said Defense Department spokesman Army Maj. Jamie Davis. There are also plans to add better security systems to recruiting stations like buzzer-locked doors and additional emergency exits, according to defense officials.
Recruiting facilities are also expected to have back doors installed in case of an emergency.
according to the Defense Department.
Providing money from the services to the Corps of Engineers was meant to centralize the implementation of security upgrades at recruiting stations "to ensure that a standard set of security enhancements were installed across the department," Davis said
Defense Department spokesman Army Maj. Jamie Davis
. But handing the funds off to the Army
stripped the services of money
they could have used for security improvements at their recruiting offices, said a military official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
That has left the four services waiting on
means all of the services have to wait until
the Army Corps of Engineers to come up with joint security improvements instead of making the upgrades themselves, the official told Military Times. The services have been frustrated at the slow pace of the security upgrades and would rather use the $80 million to implement immediate solutions.
Providing money from the services to the Corps of Engineers was meant to centralize the implementation of security upgrades at recruiting stations "to ensure that a standard set of security enhancements were installed across the department," Davis said Defense Department spokesman Army Maj. Jamie Davis.
In the solicitation, which was posted earlier this month, the Corps of Engineers asked for a company to install cubicle walls in the roughly 900 recruiting stations that provide Level 8 ballistic protection, which is supposed to be able to stop five 7.62mm rounds.
The Marine Corps will spend
$2 million to install the same bullet-resistant panels in even more of its recruiting facilities, said Jim Edwards, a spokesman for Marine Corps Recruiting Command.
"To ensure unity of effort and focus, the Secretary of Defense directed service branches implement security enhancements at off-installation facilities along three lines of effort: improve physical security, improve mass warning and notification systems and augment security," Edwards said, declining
in an emailHe declined
to comment on how long it will take to install the ballistic protection in
"Our more than 1,500 Marine recruiting facilities (of varying design, ownership and management) across the nation require somewhat complex and unique contracting solutions in order to achieve full implementation, which will take time," he added.
The Army is also pursuing its own initiative to add bullet-resistant protection to its recruiting workplaces.
Since January, the Army has delivered ballistic protection to 90 percent of its stand-alone recruiting centers, said Kelli Bland, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Recruiting Command. Bland declined to specify what kind of protective equipment has been installed, citing security concerns.
In addition to ballistic barriers, Navy recruiting stations will be updated with visual identification features, access-control mechanisms and other updates to make the buildings more secure. A timeframe for these changes was not available Wednesday.
By February, the service had posted
stood up is also moving to place
armed sentries in all 71 of its Reserve centers, where Navy and Marine reservists train. Navy personnel will go through anti-terrorism training geared for off-base facilities.
The sailors will be in uniform but their one task will be to provide security for the installations, an official told Navy Times earlier this month. The guards will not be authorized to respond to crimes outside the stations.
The Air Force was unable to respond by deadline on Wednesday about what security precautions it has taken at recruiting stations.
Andrew Tilghman, Sam Fellman and Kyle Jahner contributed to this report.
Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously reported the Navy was still in the process of posting armed sentries at Reserve centers. All Navy Operational Support Centers had armed watchstanders by February.