All across the country, you can find recruiting offices located in strip malls. At various fairs, festivals, and air shows, there are booths that encourage people to join the Army. And, you can even find the occasional video where soldiers march across the screen with the exciting message that the Army is hiring.
The reality is that it’s been harder to get potential soldiers “into boots” over the past several years. Enlistment numbers are down not only for the Army but for all military branches. This is not only because of the COVID pandemic but also because there are fewer individuals who are physically and medically qualified to serve.
Oh, and thanks to Democratic leadership over the past 10 years or so, trust in the military has fallen dramatically.
The U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC) had a goal of 57,500 accessions for the fiscal year of 2021. They barely met their goal, bringing in 57,606 individuals. And, the goal was missed on the Army Reserve side by a little over 4,000 individuals.
The Army wants USAREC to do better for fiscal year 2022. There’s one big problem with that request: there are fewer recruiters than in years past.
Major General Kevin Vereen, the commanding general of USAREC has explained that “we are reducing our recruiting force size again.” They are looking to become more streamlined and more efficient with the way they recruit people for the Army.
What does the new recruitment style look like?
Since there are approximately 1.000 fewer recruiters, primarily to keep more in operational force, things had to change. The recruitment adjustments will be taking effect beginning in January.
It’s being known as “mission modernization.”
Recruiters will now be responsible for meeting individual quotas for recruits. And, as Walt Quinn, a USAREC spokesperson says, “Each NCO will have an assigned recruiting zone, so we don’t have multiple people trying to reach the same market.”
The goal is to make sure that recruiters are pulling their weight and taking ownership of the task of recruiting. In the past, high performers were able to help out those who were struggling. This will no longer be the case.
According to Vereen, “It’s mission command – we’re allowing our NCOs to assume responsibility, to have and own a mission, and to deliver on their mission.” Further, by assigning the various recruiters to a geographic territory, it makes it easier for them to establish community relations. They can learn what it takes inside of an individual market, and it can help a single Army representative gain notoriety in the area.
There are also more digital tools being created so that a significant part of the job for recruiters is autonomous. One such tool will help to evaluate the local market so that recruiters can work more effectively to reach out to potential Army recruits. Vereen was quick to note that the online tools and the virtual recruiting initiatives as “an additional capability.”
Now that there are fewer recruiters, those who do hold the position will have to step up. Any who don’t carry their weight will not only miss quotas but also fail their missions. It can help to identify problem markets as well as issues with individual recruiters.
To ensure that everyone is contributing to the mission in a positive way, this is the way that the Army has decided to move forward. As to whether the new approach will result in more recruits, well, time will tell.