FORT KNOX, Ky. –
The U.S. Army Recruiting and Retention College provides a hands-on exercise for students before graduation.
The Recruiter Live-Fire exercise is a culminating training event that occurs in the final week of the Army Recruiter and Station Commander Courses, which provides recruiters an opportunity for practical application of the skills and knowledge they’ve obtained throughout their courses.
The RRC implemented the exercise in the spring of 2018 as a way to build confidence in new recruiters and station commanders. While the RLF exercise is a tool designed to provide additional training, it has also made a positive impact on the U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s mission.
In the past year over 4,000 RRC students have deployed to different cities and prospected approximately one million man-hours. By the end 2019, RLF will have deployed to 49 cities, 18 of which are part of USAREC’s Focus 22 Cities.
However, this isn’t the first time the RRC has had an exercise like this. Several years ago, when the college was located at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, students conducted similar exercises locally. In April 2018, the idea resurfaced to make the last week of the course more valuable for the students.
The original goal of the exercise was to have each student generate leads, but it has evolved and now they are also conducting appointments, just like they would do at their future stations.
Each event requires extensive planning. First Sergeants Jessy Todd, Gerrad McDarment, Michael Downin and Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Vincent got the program up and running and were integral in ensuring each exercise’s success. Close coordination and cooperation with the recruiting battalions and companies is key to the success of the RLF. Units who strongly participate by guiding, coaching, teaching and mentoring the students reap the largest rewards.
As the program continues to develop, it has become a whole college effort integrated into the Futures, Assessments, Integration and Research Division led by Master Sgt. Leland Harford. The team handles everything from execution of the exercise to post exercise data collection, analysis and research, and receives logistical assistance from a few key players within the college to include travel coordinator, Ms. Alison Hernandez.
Nearly every week, over 125 students from the college travel to one of the identified cities. The students are broken up into several teams and each team is assigned to a recruiting station. The lead for each team is a student from the station commander course and is required to find several events and locations where the team will prospect during the week. At the end of each day, the entire group meets up to discuss tactics, techniques and procedures.
Col. Carter Price, RRC commandant, believes once this exercise is integrated into the RRC curriculum permanently it will continue to gain momentum.“Within the last month we have pressed beyond the making of appointments to students conducting our own appointments during the exercise,” Price said. “This new effort alone has accounted for more than 25 commitments. Since the start of RLF last year, it has generated more than 80,000 contacts, 12,000 leads and 3,000 appointments.”
The RRC is in the process of finalizing the training resource documents and submitting them to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command for validation. Once validated, the RLF will become a permanent part of the institutional training at the RRC.