FORT KNOX, Ky. —
The Department of the Army announced at the Pentagon today that it will achieve its regular Army recruiting goal of 68,000 new Soldiers this year.
The recruiting goal was met in large part because of an overhauled recruiting approach and an increase in recruiters.
“We are extremely proud of the Army’s recruiting efforts,” said acting Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy. “We changed the way we do business and got results. We are ensuring the Army is ready now and investing in the future."
The Army’s accessions enterprise overhaul this year enabled U.S. Army Recruiting Command to improve the overall quality of recruits and position the command for success in the next fiscal year.
"Meeting our recruiting goals allows the Army to achieve our readiness and modernization goals while maintaining high-quality recruits and Soldiers,” said Gen. James McConville, chief of staff of the Army. “We're committed to hiring the right people with the right talents. The Army is a great place to work; and it provides people multiple pathways to success while serving a purpose greater than themselves."
Because of the cognitive, physical and moral requirements, only 29 percent of youth qualify for military service, so filling the Army’s ranks with the level of quality needed is challenging, according to Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, who leads U.S. Army Recruiting Command based here. Despite the economic and societal challenges recruiters face, they successfully enlisted a quality force this year, he added.
When comparing the overall quality of recruits today to quality a decade ago, there is a marked difference, Muth said. When considering GEDs, moral waivers and aptitude scores, overall quality of recruits has improved by 30 percent in the last decade.
The addition of about 700 new recruiters as well as several Army initiatives contributed to recruiting success this year.
“We have been successful because we overhauled how we operate and communicate,” Muth said. “We are focused on being more relatable to today’s young people and reaching them where they are – on social media, on their mobile devices, and on gaming platforms.”
USAREC developed 44 virtual recruiting stations that focus on reaching eligible individuals using social media and texting, which is where they are typically most comfortable communicating. The command is already seeing a positive impact from the effort with more than 3,000 enlistment contracts tied directly to the new virtual stations.
Two new outreach teams, Army Esports Team and Warrior Fitness Team, were established this year. Even in the building phase, these teams generated more than 135 million impressions throughout the year. The esports team has initiated some of the highest lead-generating events in the history of the all-volunteer force.
“The team is essentially connecting America to its Army through the passion of gaming,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Jones, non-commissioned officer in charge of the Army Esports Team.
The Army also increased its recruiting and outreach activities in 22 metropolitan areas — including New York, Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Miami, Kansas City, Atlanta, Orlando, Sacramento, Houston, Seattle, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Oklahoma, Cleveland, Denver, San Francisco, Shreveport, Los Angles, Boston, and Phoenix. These cities averaged a 15 percent increase in enlistments over last year.
The increased outreach efforts in these cities and across the nation contributed to a 10 percent overall increase in regular Army enlistments. As of mid-September, USAREC recruiters have signed contracts with about 4,500 more applicants than at this time last year. This increase enabled the command to ship the 68,000 new recruits the Army needed this year as well as significantly improve the delayed entry pool, better positioning the command for success in Fiscal Year 2020.
More information about the careers and benefits Army recruiters address with applicants can be found online at www.goarmy.com.