The U.S. Army has seen an almost eight percent decline in active duty officers since 2013, leading the branch to take steps to address this decline with new recruiting tactics. Chief among these changes is the Army developing a greater online presence.
“(The Army) is using and adapting in social media,” said Dr. Beth Asch, an expert in military recruiting who works at the RAND Corporation.
“I make all my money on social media,” Sgt. First Class Justin Storie said, regarding how many of the recruits he gets to join come from using social media. “That’s where all the kids are at today: Instagram, Facebook, some of the guys use Snapchat.”
The Army has also gone so far as to form a competitive online gaming team to compete and recruit.
Recruiting efforts were increased in 22 of the largest cities in the United States that don’t typically produce a lot of soldiers, such as New York City and Boston.
“It might have been less productive (in recruiting big cities) simply because we haven’t put the effort in, not that there’s not a willingness,” Asch said.
Kanoute added some of it may just come down to having the Army find ways to break through people’s preconceived notions.
“(Some people) think that if you go to the military, you’re automatically going to die,” said Minchailou Kanoute, a Syracuse University ROTC cadet. “They don’t understand the military is more than just what you see in (in the video game) Call of Duty. There’s a lot of things behind it.”