Army Recruitment Going Interactive

June 16, 2008 -

Brand Week reports that the US Army plans to wage a game-oriented attack on subpar recruiting efforts.

In August the Army will unveil the first of a new wave of recruitment centers in which prospective soldiers will play America's Army and fly missions in Apache and Blackhawk helicopter sims.

Apple's retail stores and venues like the ESPN Zone are said to be the inspirations behind the new approach. Army official Edward Walters told Brand Week:

In the past we've focused on traditional media vehicles. [But] the millennial generation is used to engaging in interactive assets and we need to adapt to them.
 

From the description, the days of handing would-be recruits a brochure will soon be over:

The first new recruitment center is designed to be less intimidating and more "like walking into a NASA center," said Walters. It will consist of three large simulators with full-scale mock-ups of Army equipment and wrap-around 270-degree video screens...

 

The Apache simulator allows a pilot and co-pilot to experience the aircraft and its weapons systems. The Black Hawk helicopter simulator provides four door gunner positions. And, the armored HMMWV vehicle simulator has positions for a driver and several gunners. The centers also will include an area where visitors can compete in America's Army, a videogame...
 

Via: Gizmodo


Comments

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

Their recruitment methods are no more unethical than that of a sales clerk at a store. I don't see why the recruiters are obligated to educate through gaming, when nobody else is obligated to do so. When Scion made a simple little goofy video game to promote their xD line of cars, were they obligated to educate people about driving? And before you jump on the "the Army sends people to war" argument, remember that more people die in the USA from traffic accidents than US military personnel die in duty per year. The most dangerous thing you can ever do in your life in the US is get behind the wheel of a car and drive down the highway. Yet Scion wasn't obligated to educate people on the importance of driving safety.

I'd also like to understand why it is so wrong for the US military recruiters to make it attractive for people to join the military? The US Military is a volunteer military -- that is, people volunteer for it, they aren't forced to join. The only people who join the military and don't know what they are getting into, are the people who, quite honestly, decided to not find out for themselves. Further, probably over 80% of military jobs, in all branches, are not "front line" jobs. When you go into basic combat training (or boot camp as some branches call it), any misbegotten belief that you are living a video game is quickly and completely extinguished.

The truth of the matter is, there are people leaving the military all the time. Whether it is because the enlistment contract is up, retirement, getting busted, dying, becoming injured (in or out of warfare), heck even getting pregnant/becoming a single parent is grounds to be able to leave. The military also has, a number of times, given severance pay to people so they can get out early if they desire. Now... if there is not an adequite number of people coming in to match those going out, the military rapidly disappears. There is an "acceptable ratio" of those joining vs. those separating from the military. If this ratio starts to shift too much one way or the other, different measures are taken. If there are too many people joining and not as many leaving, then severence pay options start cropping up. If too many people are leaving and not enough joiing, the military looks toward new avenues for recruitment, and adjusts the requirements for recruitment, trying to make it more appealing for people to join. It is a numbers game, nothing more. Honestly, it is a foolish idea to suggest that this is somehow more unethical than anything else that is similar.

"I'm not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

"I'm stel not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

The Navy's been on the nerd bandwagon for a while. They've got ads voiced by the same guy who voices Optimus Prime, ads hyping their space launches, and ads hyping their remote death robots. As it is they're a Gundam away from me signing up.

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

Granted, it takes a lot more nerds to run a Nuclear-powered ship than to drive an Abrams.  The Army still needs its nerds, but they want them to wind up in the Signal Corps fixing computers and networks rather than running around in the Infantry.

---------------------------------

So speak I, some random guy.

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

While true (as I was one of those Signal Corps nerds fixing computers and networks), it really isn't a good idea to judge based off of percentage points. If 20% of the Navy needs to be "nerds", while only 5% of the Army needs to be "nerds", the Army could still easily have more "nerds", simply because the Army has significantly more personnel than the Navy -- it just is the nature of the beast, and the differences in the kind of warfare being done by both branches.

But I digress...

"I'm not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

"I'm stel not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

True, but the recruiting tools the Army's using are more set up recruit people for combat arms and close air supprt rather than rear echelon jobs.  Granted, I don't think anyone wants to play a SINCGARS simnulator, although there might be one in the Humvee, so it's a little hard to advertise Commo jobs.

---------------------------------

So speak I, some random guy.

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

True enough. The Army does have a lot of jobs that don't really need much brain power to do. Heck, even the Signal Corps has its "Wire Dogs"... where the entire job is to pull wire from the back of a moving vehicle and bury it in the ground.

"I'm not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

"I'm stel not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

Oh yeah, THIS isn't going cause controversy.

I'm actually a little surprised the army would go this route right now.  With an unpopular war going on and the whole issue surrounding the  banning of recruiter in Berkely and other locations etc.  It seems like the army would want to lay low a little rather than going the videogame route again which will just cause the "brainwashing our children!" people to rise up and scream.

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

No, it won't, because you probably won't die if you're shot down or hit an IED.

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

Eh, I don't think America’s army was worth it honestly, I think they would be better off focusing on making their simulators as interesting as possible.

Everyone joins the Air force to be a pilot or a Gunship crewman, and then ends up being a base guard.

Everyone joins the army to be a tank commander or an apache pilot.

 

You get people mostly for the glamorous jobs, so make the glamorous jobs look damn good.

 

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

Actually, only a very few join the Army to be a tank commander or apache pilot, or join the Air Force to be a pilot or Gunship crewman (which actually is an Army job). Most people join the military to get out of difficult life situations (drug addicted family/friends, lack of jobs in home town, etc.), many also join to get the college money in order to better themselves. There is a very slim few who see the job as glamorous, and those ones usually don't make it through Basic Combat Training/Boot Camp.

Despite what people are demonizing the recruiters for here, it just doesn't show up as true when surveying people who are in the military, and why they joined. Most don't even care for being in too much, they see it as a stepping stone, a means-to-an-end to have a better chance to succeed in the "real world". There are a few who really anjoy the military, and they get promoted quite high because of it. But anyone with delusions of grandeur often finds him or herself really in the wrong place, and that person finds a way out pretty darned quick.

"I'm not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

"I'm stel not responcabel fer my comuter's spleling errnors." -- Xlorep DarkHelm

Re: Army Recruitment Going Interactive

Im surprised it took them so long with the simulators.

 
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