The student credit crisis, not the wars in the Middle East, helped Army leaders beat recruitment targets this year

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The army leadership gathered on Tuesday to announce that they had theirs Recruitment target for 2019, more than 68,000 registrations Soldiers on active duty before the end of the fiscal year, but the long wars in the Middle East weren’t exactly part of the sales pitch.

Based on his experience of visiting 30 to 40 recruiting stations this year, the possible outcomes of wars abroad “are not really part of the discussion” between prospective soldiers and their recruits, Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, head of the Army Recruiting Command, told reporters Tuesday at the Pentagon.

“One of the national crises right now is student loans, so that’s $ 31,000” [about] the average, ”said Muth. “You can get out [of the Army] after four years, 100 percent of the state college across the United States will have paid. “

A significant part of the recruiting drive has shown the army serving as a route to the American middle class, with several service officers pointing out that their children took advantage of GI Bill benefits and ROTC scholarships.

“I have three children who serve. Many of us have children on duty, “said Army Chief of Staff James McConville.” And the reason is that we see this as the road to success.

As things stand at present, the army commanders expect to exceed this year’s target of 478,000 soldiers in active service and, thanks to solid retention rates, to land in the range of 481,000 to 483,000 soldiers. But new soldiers make up the bulk of the profits.

Educational services, Professional qualifications“Adventure and the way out of the small town are still the big reasons why young people want to get involved,” Muth said.

But Army Sergeant Major Michael Grinston cautioned against falling for the self-centered caricature often portrayed by today’s youth.

“In contrast to other generations, this generation is a change. You want to serve something greater than yourself, “said Grinston.” It may surprise you a little.

For the past year, the service has targeted recruitment 80,000 soldiers, but adjusted his target to around 76,500 in the middle of the year, only to miss around 70,000 in the end. The recruiting offensive was much more modest in this financial year.

“We did our recruiting mission, so we made 68,000,” McConville said. “Our loyalty mission … we kept a lot more than we thought and our churn has decreased.”

The service had a retention target of about 50,000 and managed to keep 51,000 soldiers, Grinston said. “Once soldiers join the army, they want to stay in the army even if the economy is very healthy,” he added.

The low unemployment rate and booming economy make recruiting difficult, especially when compared to previous recruitment campaigns during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which were getting closer to a major global recession.

A screenshot from the army

Even in contrast to the years of increase, the army did not rely on an increase in exemptions. In fact, the army has issued 3.4 percent fewer waivers this year, the majority of which are “moral” waivers that address issues like marijuana possession, Muth said

“In terms of quality, we are better than we have been in the last ten years,” he added.

Higher-quality recruits ensure that a greater number of them actually survive the training and complete their first employment.

The successful recruitment efforts were based in part on the fact that the leading civilian and uniformed leaders of the army were after 22 American cities to introduce locals to what the service could offer young people – from college funding to the soft skills employers crave.

According to incumbent Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, the Army has recruited better than in previous years in cities outside the southern United States such as Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

“By realigning America’s 22 cities, we’ve had double-digit increases in women and minorities,” said McCarthy. “We are getting a much broader cohort of men and women joining the force that the country reflects. ”

The army’s big surge in recruiting was sparked by their avowed desire to become one 500,000 men in active service by the end of the next decade.

McCarthy attributed changes to the way the Army spends its advertising funds as a potential turnaround for the service’s future recruiting efforts.

“We reorganized the entire Army Marketing Research Group so we could leave control of branding to the secretary and the boss,” said McCarthy.

“We moved more uniformed personnel to the marketing organization so we could try to get control of the embassies.”

The army recently got a new one Marketing team based in Chicago stocked with uniformed officers to be closer to its new advertising firm DDB Chicago, which has a $ 4 billion contract than Army full-service advertising agency by 2028.

“Two years ago we spent 50 percent of our advertising money on television advertising and now over 90 percent have moved to the digital side,” added McCarthy.

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