New Army recruits take part in a swearing-in ceremony before a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Colorado Rockies in San Diego. A year after failing to meet its enlistment goal for the first time in 13 years, the U.S. Army is now on track to meet a lower 2019 target after revamping its recruitment effort. GREGORY BULL/AP
New Army recruits take part in a swearing-in ceremony before a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and the Colorado Rockies in San Diego. A year after failing to meet its enlistment goal for the first time in 13 years, the U.S. Army is now on track to meet a lower 2019 target after revamping its recruitment effort. GREGORY BULL/AP

Army meets recruiting goal for 2019 after revamping how it attracts prospective soldiers

by Corey Dickstein
Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON – The Army has met its fiscal year 2019 recruiting goal, service officials said Tuesday, crediting a retooled effort focused largely on attracting young men and women through internet applications and in large cities the military had long ignored.

The Army will surpass the 68,000 active-duty enlistees that it aimed to bring into the service this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, said Gen. James McConville, the service’s chief of staff. His announcement comes just one year after the Army fell about 6,500 enlistees short of its fiscal year 2018 goal – its first recruiting failure since 2005 – kicking off a service-wide review of its efforts to attract young people into its uniform.

“The Army had to do some soul-searching,” acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told reporters at the Pentagon. “We had to look at our entire strategy in how we went to market, and we made some pretty dramatic changes in this process.”

After a short review aimed at modernizing recruitment, which operated in 2018 much as it did in the 1990s, Army leaders bulked up their recruiting force by 700 soldiers, trained them to find prospective recruits online, and shifted their marketing strategy from long-running television advertisements to running targeted ads on the social media platforms popular among people in their late teens and early 20s.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.599288

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