The US Army is looking to undertake a seemingly-impossible mission in order to make up for massive recruiting shortfalls- by shifting their recruiting focus to liberal-leaning cities
While rural America -specifically the majority of conservative, Southern states- has often disproportionately filled the ranks of America’s warfighting team at two to three times the rate of other regions, the Army is looking away from Dixie, hoping to recruit from metropolitan areas.
“We want to go into Boston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City,” Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, the head of Army Recruiting Command, told The New York Times. “These are places with a large number of youth who just don’t know what the military is about.”
If this sounds like a fruitless endeavor, one needs only look at Army recruiters in Seattle, Washington, who often feel as if they are invisible.
In December, Seattle recruiting station head SFC Jeremiah Vargas expressed how a city known for far-left protests and criticism of the military has an impact on recruiting- even in schools, a traditional recruiting ground.
“Legally, the high schools have to let us in, but a lot of times, they’ll just ignore our calls,” SFC Vargas said. “A lot of schools don’t want us to talk to their kids. They want them to go to college, and see the military as a last resort.”
Similarly, parents can be hostile as well.
“They say ‘Thank you for your service, but stay away from my kid,’” said Capt. Carlos Semidey, the Seattle recruiters’ company commander.
Desperate to bring aboard urbanites and suburb-dwellers perceived to be more digitally-inclined than their rural counterparts, the Army has resorted to trying to recruit Soldiers in multiplayer video games, on social media platforms and even Twitch, a live-stream game platform.
With massive recruiting shortfalls and even more dismal retention failures within the current force, it is unknown if the drive to recruit from America’s urban centers is going to bear fruit.
To paraphrase a line from the movie Dodgeball, “It’s a bold strategy. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.”
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