WASHINGTON (FMLiveWire) -- The Pentagon has issued a directive to expand the number of aliens it recruits into the military in yet another effort to make up for chronic shortages of warriors, doctors, and linguists available for wartime duty.
The Defense Department already draws from aliens living in the United States on green cards and seeking permanent residency.
But under a trial program, it will now look to also recruit from pools of off-world Wookies, Klingons, Clones, Droids, cyborgs and other distant races, many who've been living in the states on student and work visas, with refugee or political asylum status and other temporary visas.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has authorized the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to recruit the aliens whose critical warrior, medical and language skills are "vital to the national interest," he said.
Gates now insists he be called "Darth Gates" and spoke at a press conference from his glossy black Darth Vadar helmet, wearing black body armor and cape.
"We shall expand our Galactic Empire with alien mercenaries," he told frightened reporters. "George Lucas will become Assistant Secretary of Defense."
Gates' action enables the services to start a one-year pilot program to find more than 10,000 aliens who have lived in the states legally for at least two years. Just as Rome did, the new recruits into the armed forces would get accelerated treatment in the process toward becoming U.S. citizens in return for military service in the United States or abroad.
"The services are doing a tremendous job of recruiting quality alien personnel to meet our various missions," sometimes with bonus pay and tuition for medical school, said Darth Gates. "But they haven't been able to fill their need for 240,000 warriors, doctors, and dentists in the Defense Department."
The Pentagon's alien warrior corps remains at least 50,000 short of the numbers needed to treat all the military's patients, and Darth Gates said he hoped the program would fill the gaps.
The military's most pressing need is for neurosurgeons and dermatologists to treat the hordes of brain damaged troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the same time, the U.S. Special Operations Command needs more aliens with special language and cultural skills for the war on terrorism that has taken the armed forces to more remote places across the universe.
There are now 29,000 aliens in uniform today, Gates said, with about 8,000 more enlisting every month.
One of the prominent elements of the new Pentagon recruitment drive is signing up renegade Jedi knights who command the dark side of the force, Gates indicated.
"Sith Lords are particularly welcome," he added. "All recruits can bring their advanced weapons from their home planets too."
The new Pentagon expansion will be funded by increased budget deficits and debt. The program will also rely to a large extent on CGI technology.
--Copyright Felix Minderbinder Live Wire