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:

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