In an effort to increase the number of soldiers enlisted, army recruiters in Seattle have begun to push their enrollment tactics in liberal-leaning cities, an area where not many recruits have signed up in the past.
Last year, the U.S. Army fell 6,500 soldiers short of its national goal and believes that recruiting in liberal areas such as Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle could possibly increase the total number of registered soldiers.
“We want to go into Boston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City,” Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, the head of Army Recruiting Command told The Mercury News. “These are places with a large number of youth who just don’t know what the military is about.”
Army leaders believe that recruiting in these cities and utilizing the right sales pitch will help them be successful.
Instead of using the army’s staple pitch where they down play combat and highlight job training and education benefits, it wants to advertise enlistment as a “patriotic detour” for motivated young adults – one that promises opportunities for travel, adventure and public service.
“You want to do a gap year? Come do your gap year in the Army,” Muth figuratively said, though enlistees are required to commit to serve for two to six years.
When the Seattle army recruiters visit schools, students and faculty on occasion express their anti-war beliefs, addressing the civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan and the high rate of sexual assault in the military, The Mercury News reported.
High schools are legally required to allow the recruiters to come to their school, but a lot of them will ignore their calls and requests, said Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Vargas, adding that they, and parents would rather their children attend college.
Now, by focusing on liberal areas, army recruiters will work to create attention and will speak at events to promote leadership at patriotism. The Army is also adding hundreds of recruiters to its team and increasing enlistment bonuses.