Army recruiters are working around the ban on the Chinese-based TikTok social media app, in hopes to recruit members of Gen Z that seem to have quickly adopted it.
In light of the failed US ban on TikTok, recruiters are struggling to be seen in an environment where many potential recruits are too busy using the CCP-affiliated app.
“They’re on TikTok,” Army Recruiting Command head Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen said of his recruiters attempting to get young recruits through social media, “and they’re doing other things with Twitter.”
According to Defense One, roughly half of Americans in the Gen Z demographic are on TikTok.
“We’ve got to learn them. We’ve got to understand,” Vereen said at the Association of the US Army’s annual meeting, in October. “We do know that most of Generation Z lives in the virtual space, they live online, they live with social media. And so we have to be savvy with how we evolve in our recruiting operations.”
However, Army regulations have effectively banned TikTok due to national security concerns.
“We’re already behind,” said Sgt. Georgia Varoucha, a recruiter with the New Jersey Army National Guard. “To me, we’re already ten years behind. Even if the Army allows it right now we’re still behind.”
Known as “@njrecruiter Georgia V.” on TikTok, the sergeant boasts nearly half a million followers and 9.6 million “likes.”
Varoucha is careful not to run afoul of Army sensibilities, but skirts regulations by using her personal phone.
“Realistically, all they care about is the numbers,” Varoucha said.
Defense Ones reports her TikTok account took about six months to start really getting the attention of potential recruits but now it accounts for 45 percent of the recruits she draws in.
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