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Army looks to engage youth to boost lagging recruitment numbers

Posted August 5, 2015

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— The Army has a reputation for being strong, but lately their recruiting numbers are anything but strong, and recruiters say there are many factors contributing to the lagging numbers.

Recruiting Battalion Commander Edward Hudson says the Army has a long-term plan that looks at where it needs to be through the year 2025. That’s partly how they determine yearly goals, which they have not been meeting recently.

In May, the Army missed its recruiting goal by more than 5,000 soldiers, and in July, the goal was missed by nearly 4,000.

Hudson is still optimistic though, saying it's just a matter of making the Army more attractive to a rapidly changing society.

“The kids that we’re looking to assess and bring into the Army are different,” Hudson said. “What they look at, how they receive information is changing. So, we’ve got to be with that. We’ve got to be along that power curve.”

Only three out of 10 young people meet the cognitive, physical and moral standards to qualify for the Army, so another part of the challenge is finding those who are qualified and making sure they are aware of the benefits of joining.

Recruiters also aim to engage what they call "influencers,” especially those with a positive outlook on the Army. That could start at home, as the Army says its studies show that more than half of parents would support their child's decision to join.

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  • Jeff Herring Aug 6, 2015
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    Oh yes, i' m sure kids are just itching to go fight an endless war in Iran if a republican is elected president.

  • Jeff Herring Aug 6, 2015
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    Maybe if Congress treated the tens of thousands of wounded veterans better and helped them get jobs, more smart kids would want to join. But the republican Congress is concerned instead that they can't spare the money because rich folks need tax cuts.

  • Mike Hill Aug 5, 2015
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    I suspect the recruitment numbers will improve when Obama leaves office. Just wait until 1-20-2017. No one wants to be lead by a fool.