As a result of poor recruitment numbers the US Army is planning to place a greater focus on esports and other competitive gaming events, sending recruiters to events and actively taking part in contests.
The Army has failed to meet its yearly recruiting goal of 76,500 new recruits, only bringing in 70,000. That’s an 8.5% fall and is the first time the Army haven’t reached its target in thirteen years.
When asked about the recruiting fall in an Associated Press interview, Maj. Gen. Frank Muth says that the Army is trying new tactics and ways to reach recruits. Muth gives an example of an Army recruiter who was wearing his uniform at an Ultimate Fighter tournament was talking about his job in the Army. Muth sees this as an opportunity, “We reached 2.4 million people over one hour.”
The plan is to have recruiters playing games in their uniform at tournaments to provoke questions about their jobs. Muth says, “When these games or these events occur, the focus and the number one priority is recruitment and prospecting and getting leads.”
Muth also comments that the Army would focus more on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Twitch as engagement. One tactic is to follow up with students who like the Amy’s Facebook page after a recruiter has visited.
This is not the first time the Armed Forces has taken an interest in esports. The US Air Force recently sponsored the ELEAGUE Boston Major in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as well as the CS:GO team Cloud 9, whose jersey’s now feature the Air Force’s logo.