Published on January 6th, 2009 | by Brian Browne
Army Recruiting Strategy
Video game world: You might want to start screening your calls, because Uncle Sam is on the line. In the form of the a new recruitment center/arcade. The article done by the New York Times, is calling it a “model for recruitment in urban areas”. Leading the way is a $13 million facility built in the Franklin Mills mall located in Philadelphia, PA. Stocked with gaming choices such as Rainbow Six: Vegas and Madden NFL 09, which can be played for FREE(Yes, thats right). Named the ‘Army Experience Center”, it is an obvious attempt to boost recruitment levels.
The Army in the past, has performed a number of attempts to try to boost their numbers including music videos, websites, and console video games. While the numbers are important to them, recruiters reiterate that main purpose is to educate the public. “We want to put people in the Army, but that’s about our third priority,” says supervising officer Sergeant Jennings. “Most people think joining the Army means being a grunt, and that Iraq equals death. We try to show them that there’s more to the Army than carrying a gun. If people come in here and they learn that but they don’t join, that’s O.K.” he adds.
While the facility has been open since August, the results are less than staggering. Only 35 visitors have actually followed through with the enlistment process. In addition to the retail games named, the center includes simulators of AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopter, an armed Humvee and a Black Hawk copter with M4 carbine assault rifle. With the numbers in hand as of now, the Army can’t say this an effective strategy, but are hoping for improvement. If the technique is seen as effective, look for more centers to follow.
How do people feel about this? Would you ever go? Have you ever been?