Army targets young Americans in new ways for recruiting
WASHINGTON — Recruiters armed with new marketing campaigns and technology will target cities where the Army has struggled to engage potential soldiers as part of a revamped strategy to fill the ranks.
The service is taking a holistic approach to updating its recruiting and marketing enterprises, which have gone years without proper review, Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, chief of Training and Doctrine Command, said Tuesday. The lack of assessment has left current recruiters poorly outfitted to engage their targets — about 30 percent of men and women ages 17 to 24 who qualify to join the military.
The bottom line: The vast majority of those who could serve in the Army simply do not understand the basics about the service, said Townsend, speaking with reporters at the Association of the United States Army’s annual conference in Washington.
“It really gets down to ignorance about what our armed forces are, what they do for the country and what your opportunities are,” said Townsend, who is leading the Army’s study of its recruiting practices. The review was launched this summer, before the service officially missed its 2018 recruiting goal by 6,500 soldiers. “When you give [potential recruits] a simple informational briefing — here’s what the armed forces are about, here are the career opportunities in the Army, here are the benefits of service — propensity [to enlist] jumps. So, it’s just getting the word out.”
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