FORT KNOX, Ky. –
“Without recruiting, we don’t have an Army.” This was the resounding theme of the chief of staff of the Army’s visit to U.S. Army Recruiting Command here May 3.
Gen. James McConville spent two hours with the USAREC command team, brigade commanders and headquarters staff members to gain an understanding of the challenges being faced by recruiting NCOs this year and the actions he and other Army senior leaders can take to support Recruiting Command.
“We are in a war for talent,” he said. “Young men and women with talent have a lot of options. ”
He discussed the Army’s recent announcement regarding the new directive on parenthood, pregnancy and postpartum policies as one way the Army is working to find solutions to issues Soldiers are identifying as barriers to service and demonstrating the focus on people first.
He also discussed the impact of a positive experience while in the Army and the value of feeling supported when an individual decides it’s time to move on. Whether they serve for four years or 40, we are proud of them, he said; success doesn’t have to mean serving until retirement.
“What winning looks like is we bring in young men and women, and they finish their first term,” McConville said while discussing the importance of finding ways to reduce attrition rates in training and while Soldiers are at their first unit of assignment.
He also discussed quality with the commanders, as this has become a hot topic as the Army and the other services struggle to meet the recruiting mission after two years of limited in-person contact in addition to a challenging economic environment.
“I think quality is more important that quantity in the long term,” he emphasized. “I don’t want recruiters to bring in low-quality recruits just to make numbers.”