TAMPA, Fla. (WFTS) — The US Military has been an important element of the country since its inception.
But as time moves forward, so do the efforts to stay find new recruits.
“I think social media has to play an important role because so many of the youth are on there,” said veteran advocate Todd Boeding.
Efforts are growing, not just on social media.
“The Air Force has its own kind of gaming truck that they’ll bring to big social events, and they’ll have these teenagers come in and game,” said Justin Henderson, Senior Vice-President of Recruit Military.
The military must recruit 184,000 people every year in order to replace people leaving, according to the Labor Department.
However, the Department of Defense warns multiple branches likely won’t hit recruitment goals this year. That’s a trend that we saw last year as well.
The Department of Defense said the Army and the Air Force will likely fall short by 10,000 each. The Navy is expected to fall short by 6,000.
That’s in addition to the fact that only 23% of young Americans are qualified to serve.
“The military itself is 10% of the US populace. We’re 5.6% of the US workforce. So we’re really a small but mighty group,” said Henderson.
While some feel a recent ban of TikTok on government devices will hinder recruitment efforts, others feel recruitment is less about the platform and more about the message.
“All of the research shows that what’s most important to this generation is purpose of mission. I’m gonna say the two of the four main branches are pushing the narrative of if you come join us, this is how much money you’re going to get. That’s not what this generation is about,” said Boeding. “What’s most important to them is what I’m doing. Is this important to the overall good? Am I doing something of value to somebody else here?”