From the Queens Courier:
A Department of Defense pilot program is drawing foreign nationals from all over the country to come to Queens – and join the Army.
The program has a typically obscure military anagram name: MAVNI.
It stands for “Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest,” which is hardly more enlightening. When word of the pilot program first became public, misinformation spread.
Sergeant First Class Larry Nelson, station commander of the Army Recruiting Station at 36-40 Main Street in Flushing, is happy to set the record straight.
The reward is that once in the Army, MAVNI recruits can apply for citizenship immediately. The catch is that if they fail to complete their enlistment, their citizenship can be revoked.
Prospective recruits must be between the ages of 17 and 41; have been in the U.S. on student, employment and other visas for a minimum of two years without having left for 90 days or more; speak one of about 48 specific languages; have at least a high school diploma and pass medical, security and the Army entry exam.
The language list is divided into three priorities, with various dialects of Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Punjabi, Hindi, Moro, and other Asian and African tongues listed as “Priority 1” and sought for 40% or more of the MAVNI contracts.
Mandarin and Cantonese, Korean and several other Asian and European languages are capped at a maximum of 30 percent. Spanish is not on the list.