Identifying Opportunities to Improve Army Recruiting

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Identifying Opportunities to Improve Army Recruiting Since conscription ended in the United States in 1973 and the introduction of the all volunteer armed military forces approach, the need for an effective recruiting became increasingly important. In response, military services have taken several steps to professionalize their recruiting functions over the years as well as through the use of a number of proven marketing methods borrowed from the private sector. To date, these recruiting efforts have achieved their overall goals of ensuring a steady stream of qualified candidates for the nation's armed forces for the last 40 years, but there have been some challenges experienced during this period including most especially increasingly diminished interest in professional military service as a viable career path during periods of healthy economic performance. In this regard, Klerman and Karoly (1999) report that, "In making post-high school decisions, American youth compare enlisting in the military with other alternatives, such as continued education and work. Consequently, the future of recruiting in the Army depends, in large part, on the prospects facing American youth" (p. 41). This situation changed briefly following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and military recruiters across the country were flooded with qualified and highly motivated candidates. This level of patriotic fervor has been followed by a period in which qualified candidates for

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