October 01, 2019

The Army may have hit this year's recruiting goal, but the service still has a long way to go

By Emma Moore

A year after missing its recruitment goals for the first time in more than a decade, the U.S. Army announced on Sept. 17 that it will meet its target of 68,000 new soldiers for the 2019 fiscal year.

But despite touting new initiatives, digital platforms, and marketing techniques (and lowering its goal by 12,000 in 2019 amid a more modest growth plan in the next five years), the Army is not in the clear yet. The service's new initiatives should be the expectation rather than considered innovative — and if the Army really wants to make good on its modernization promises, it has to ask hard questions about current processes.

The Army's modern outreach initiatives have certainly seen initial success. Army representation in 22 cities without traditionally strong recruitment saw an average 15 percent increase in enlistments, according to U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC), including a "double-digit lift with females and minorities" that increased the number of women in the Army by nearly an entire percent (17.1 to 18 percent). Many young women do not see themselves as having a role in the military, highlighting the importance of these gains.

New tools are making a difference, too. The service's 44 new virtual recruiting stations led to 3,000 enlistment contracts alone, according to USAREC commander Maj. Gen. Frank Muth; social media sites offered a new point of contact and information sharing, while the e-sports and warrior fitness teams garnered millions of impressions.

Read the full article in Task & Purpose.

Learn more from Emma Moore's January 2019 piece in Task & Purpose about the potential lessons from the British Army's recruitment campaign:

Military, Veterans, & Society

What The US Army Should Learn From the British Army’s Punchy Recruiting Campaign

The U.S. Army will always face challenges recruiting the soldiers it needs, but an uphill battle is no excuse not to strive to do better —or learn from other countries' modern...

Read More
  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • January 13, 2021
    Now Is a Bad Time to Weaken Civilian Control Over the Military

    The mob attacks on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are a sudden reminder of just how vital a nonpartisan military really is—even in the United States....

    By ​Jim Golby

  • Commentary
    • Task and Purpose
    • December 16, 2020
    How to build more resilient and innovative US special operations teams

    The military is looking for the wrong solutions to support the force....

    By Lt Col Kaveri T. Crum & Emma Moore

  • Commentary
    • December 16, 2020
    Sharper: 2020

    2020 featured an ever-evolving series of national security challenges....

    By Sam Dorshimer, Nathalie Grogan, Emily Jin, Chris Estep & Cole Stevens

  • Video
    • December 13, 2020
    On GPS: Why civilians run the Pentagon

    The University of Texas, Austin's Jim Golby joins Fareed to look back at why generals have historically been kept away from serving as Secretary of Defense. Watch the full int...

    By ​Jim Golby

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia