Using soldiers to recruit new soldiers

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The U.S. army fell short of its recruiting goal of 80-thousand new troops LAST YEAR.

Part of that is because of an improving economy and a low unemployment rate.

But, these days the Army is using active duty soldiers to tell their personal stories as a way of attracting new recruits.

News 12’s Ashley Henderson has the story.

The competition for qualified and enthusiastic military men and women is intense. And the demand for those people means that civilian jobs are taking many before they consider military service…or a career.

Command Sgt. Major Craig Bishop and his two colleagues think that if young people, and that could mean 20’s or even 30’s….heard their stories…it could be an effective recruiting tool.

These soldiers are sharing their career stories with high school students in their hometowns. They are from the 1st Infantry Division in Ft. Riley, Kansas.

CSM CRAIG BISHOP, 1st INFANTRY DIV.
“I was kind of an outdoors guy, boyscouts growing up, played athletics, and to be quite frank with you was just looking for a challenge. I initially joined the Army for three years, I thought I would do three years and then get out and come home, and almost 27 years later I’m still enjoying what I do and serving each and every day.”

SM Bishop says only about 30 percent of young people aged 18-24 meet the requirements to serve in the Army.

But if they pass the tests, One of the attractions is that there are 150 different career paths to choose from.

SPC JOSHUA YOUNG – RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS SPECIALIST, DUNLAP, TN
“A lot of the individuals that asked questions were actually very surprised. When they think of the Army they just think of the combat jobs, and they – I was able to be able to show them a little bit more of the non-combat, support elements.”

PV2 ERIN WIFFEN, HEALTH CARE SPECIALIST, OLIVER SPRINGS, TN.
“They were in the seat I was in only a couple of months ago, so, to be able to tell them my experience and what the Army’s offered to me, it was great. It was a great opportunity. I didn’t get to have that as a kid.”
And..the average army recruit today comes with valuable talents.

BISHOP: “What I’ve watched is we have a smarter, more diversified and technically trained military than we did, say, when I joined.”

In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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