FORT KNOX, Ky. –
U.S. Army Recruiting Command brings quality young women and men into the Army every year, offering more than 150 different career paths and top-notch education and training that prepares individuals for success in life.
Nearly 10,000 Army recruiters in 1,400 stations across the country offer in-demand job opportunities to mentally and physically fit and qualified applicants every day. Careers like medical technicians, human resources and information technology specialists are examples the Army offers that directly translate to jobs found in the private sector.
“We are the front door to the Army, and our recruiters are responsible for ensuring America’s Army has the right people on the team to protect our nation,” said Maj. Gen. Kevin Vereen, USAREC’s commanding general. “Recruiters reach out to 17-34 year olds where they spend their time: high schools, colleges, sports games, local races and festivals, and online, whether that’s Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. We educate them about what the Army can offer them to ensure they understand that the military is an option worth considering for a career and education.”
With about 50 percent of today's young people admitting they know little to nothing about military life, recruiters provide information about career opportunities, health care, continued education, and skills training, to educate the eligible population about the benefits of military service. Face-to face interaction with a recruiter remains the most influential factor in a person’s decision to join the Army.
Recruiters often give presentations on Army careers and opportunities to high school and college classes, with the express understanding that they only actively recruit those over the age of 17. Recruiters also set up booths and hand out information during school career day activities.
In addition to face-to-face interaction, virtual recruiting methods have become successful to informing potential applicants of what the Army offers. Recruiters maintain a presence on various social media platforms and use text messages and video chats to communicate with Future Soldiers and potential applicants.
USAREC also oversees the Army eSports Team, which is an outreach team made up of Soldiers who use their own Army experiences as a way to connect to individuals who may be interested in service. The team members are not recruiters, though. They, as with other Army assets (Golden Knights Parachute Team, Army Marksmanship Unit, As You Were musical outreach team), reach out to the recruiting demographic, answer questions about the Army, and discuss their Army experiences. If someone asks specific questions about joining the Army, interested individuals are referred to a recruiter for continued discussion.
The Army strives to be a reflection of society. Recruiters talk to 17-34 year olds from all walks of life, regardless of socioeconomic status, race or gender. The majority of recruits come from the middle income brackets – roughly 55 percent – with the remaining recruits nearly evenly split between upper and lower income brackets – 21 percent to 24 percent, respectively.
The demographics of the total Army represent American society fairly well, with the exception of gender. Women make up 51 percent of the American population, but only about 18 percent of the Army. Race and ethnicity in the Army closely represent America as a whole.
“Diversity is a strength for the U.S. Army, and we will continue working to ensure we add voices to our team to further enhance our capabilities,” Vereen said.
Education is a priority for the U.S. Army and its Soldiers, whether it’s recruiters enlisting Soldiers who already have some college education or the Army offering up to $4,000 per year in tuition assistance to active-duty Soldiers.
In fiscal year 2019, 10.9 percent of active Army recruits and 13.5 percent of Army Reserve recruits enlisted with some college education. In that same year, nearly 136,000 enlisted Soldiers across the Total Army (active, Reserve and Guard) held college degrees ranging from associates degrees to doctorates.
“Along with education benefits, Soldiers receive training, mentorship and leadership opportunities in career fields that directly relate to jobs in the private sector,” Vereen said. “At the end of their enlistment period, Soldiers can choose to stay in the Army or separate and find employment in the private sector, fully qualified and certified to step into equivalent careers.”
Should they separate, Soldiers will still have access to GI Bill benefits to continue their education and deepen their knowledge and understanding in their program of choice.
“The Army takes care of its Soldiers from the beginning, throughout their careers, and even after they’ve separated or retired,” Vereen said. “This is just part of the benefits you receive when you join the Army team.”