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Military recruitment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

French marines recruitement poster
French marines recruitement poster
U.S. Navy recruitment advertisement in Popular Mechanics, 1908.
U.S. Navy recruitment advertisement in Popular Mechanics, 1908.

Military recruitment refers to the activity of attracting people to, and selecting them for, military training and employment.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Military Recruitment and Hollywood
  • Military Recruitment FAQ Interview | Basic High School
  • Russian Military Recruitment Video (1)


So, once again this is David Levinson reminding you and anybody else that’s listening: Don’t mess with Earth! The long-awaited sequel to the 1996 mega-blockbuster Independence Day hit theaters this summer. Independence Day: Resurgence is built on the same premise that made the original famous: a potent combination of alien killin’ and patriotic pandering. Shouldn’t we be nervous? Um, yeah. Make them pay. We are going to kick some serious alien— Let’s show ‘em some fireworks. On behalf of the planet Earth, Happy Fourth of July. Is that all you got?! According to most reviews the movie itself was unremarkable. What was remarkable however, was the marketing for the film. Some of you might remember something a little strange about the trailers. And I mean in addition to Jeff Goldblum doing his whole Jeff Goldblum thing. When the world was brought to its knees, the Army was there to fight back promised us this would never happen again. They have been the driving force in uniting nations around the world to form the most powerful weapon against another attack: The Earth Space Defense. Brave men and women of the ESD are making sure that the war of ’96 will never happen again. Join Earth Space Defense. Next time, we will be prepared. So we see the stars of the film speaking directly to the camera, praising the US Army and then asking fans to join something called Earth Space Defense. Then at the end of the trailer we see a URL: Once fans arrive at that website, they’re asked to enlist in the ESD to help fight off future alien invasions and “defend Earth’s independence at all cost.” By clicking enlist visitors are notified that they are now a soldier with the rank of “private.” Now in order to determine your role in this fantasy-military organization, fans are instructed to complete a series of gamified “missions.” Mini-games include simulations where players learn how to pilot an unmanned military drone or crack secret alien codes. Completing each mission raises your rank and unlocks exclusive Independence Day movie content. We’ve taken fighter jets that the US military would have been accustomed to and we’ve incorporated alien technology. Now you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is just a clever marketing stunt designed to drum up more interest in the film. But there’s something a little more insidious going on here. In order to compete to unlock those movie extras fans are instructed to sign-in with Facebook. But by doing so, it allows the US Army access to your Facebook page and your personal data along with it. That’s because this whole “Earth Space Defense” campaign is actually a surreptitious recruiting tool for the US Army. It’s part of a multi-million dollar joint advertising venture between 20th Century Fox and the United States military. If you look carefully you’ll notice a small unassuming US Army logo in the corner of the page right across from the Independence Day movie logo. If you look even more closely, you’ll notice that when linking over to, you’re quietly redirected to where the site is hosted., for those who don’t know, is the official website for US Army recruitment. Were you surprised when your daughter enlisted? Not at all. She’s a born leader. I know I’ve been taking orders from her since she was five years old. -So you don’t worry about her? -Of course I worry about her. I fought in the War of ’96. I know what those things are capable of. But I know what my daughter is capable of. And I know this planet is safer because she’s defending it. Now that trailer is almost indistinguishable from real US Army television commercials, at least up until the point where the kindly father figure in the US Army cap starts reminiscing about the War of 1996. You remember, that’s the fictional one that didn’t actually happen, where the US Military defeated the extraterrestrial invasion with the help of Will Smith. Welcome to Earth. Cross-branded promotions are now ubiquitous in Hollywood. You’ve probably seen commercials for Audi or Doritos or Coke that double as trailers for superhero films. These movie tie-ins are meant to trigger an emotional connection in viewers and increase what’s referred to as “positive-brand association” by connecting a product with something that people already like. The idea is that if you already think that say The Hulk is cool, and you’re already really excited to see The Hulk SMASH stuff in the latest Marvel movie, then seeing The Hulk enjoying a can of Coke will link those pre-existing happy fan-ish feelings in your mind to the product on the screen even if that’s just on an unconscious level. And the uncomfortable truth is that this kind of marketing actually works really, really well. Which is why corporations spend billions every year doing it. But here’s the thing, convincing people to eat a bag of “Street Taco” flavored Doritos? EW. Convincing people to eat a bag of Doritos and convincing people to sign away 8 years of their lives to the US Army are not exactly comparable. While arguably both might be unhealthy, life in the military presents significantly more risk to your mental, emotional, and physical well-being than having a little junk food now and then. Now if cross-branded advertising sounds manipulative, that’s because it is. Which is why it’s not exactly surprising that the US military is jumping on the bandwagon. The US Army now spends in excess of $200 million per year of taxpayer money on advertising. The US Army-contracted advertising firm responsible for the Earth Space Defense campaign is upfront about what they are doing, The thing is that “recruitment story” they’re selling is pure fantasy. Now to be clear, many people do initially want to join the military for altruistic reasons. Unfortunately, US Army recruiters are notorious for extremely deceptive tactics. You look like you’re really into this. You guys want a real challenge? As a soldier in the United States Army, you’ll find out what you’re really made of and how far you can go. Explore over 150 careers, help pay for college, and learn if you qualify for an enlistment bonus. Call 1-888-395-ARMY now for a free copy of the America’s Army Game and this new interactive DVD. Promises of large cash bonuses and money for college are commonly used to entice poor students into enlistment. But the fine print on those contracts makes it so only about 15% of recruits end up getting a college degree out of the deal, and 65% receive no money for college at all. Recruiters also routinely hide the dangers that go along with life in the military (even outside of combat scenarios). Potential soldiers are not told that the levels of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military are alarmingly high. Recruiters don’t mention that 1 in 4 women and about 1 in 14 men face severe and persistent sexual harassment and discrimination while serving. They don’t mention the fact that suicide rates among veterans are extremely high compared to civilians. And they certainly don’t tell you that a third of all homeless men in the United States are military veterans. For the record, that’s over 200,000 people. Let’s be frank, if you enlist in the army there’s a darn good chance you’re going to have a bad time. And the military knows it. This reality presents something of a PR nightmare, which is why the Military has long turned to Hollywood to help clean up their image and sell the idea of enlistment. Jonathan: Every branch of the US Military has offices in Los Angeles which are tasked with collaborating on Hollywood movies and video game productions. Now for decades they wouldn't touch anything involving U.F.O.s. In fact the military famously refused to assist on the original Independence Day because the script referenced Area 51. But that’s no longer the case. The military has recently collaborated on science fiction movies like Battleship, Man of Steel, Iron Man, and Transformers. We got a film crew aboard for the movie Battleship. Don’t hesitate to show them anything they ask for. Please make them feel as welcomed as humanly possible. We are now embedded with the United States Navy. We’re using all the real crew from this ship right now. And these guys are acting out scenes and fighting their ship. And I think they’re having a lot of fun. Right behind us is the five inch gun… Jonathan: Now in exchange for granting filmmakers assistance and access to both equipment and personnel, the military just demands one little thing in return: final script approval. That's a very bad idea. Wow. You have to thank her now. She sent the Navy AND the Marines. God bless you, Ellie. Jonathan: This arrangement insures that Hollywood depictions of the military are always positive and uncritical even when the story involves dinosaurs or killer robots or aliens from outer space. This cozy relationship is sometimes referred to as “Militainment” because it produces media that glorifies military institutions, combat, and warfare. So there’s a long history of military involvement in Hollywood. Still, I’d argue that this Independence Day movie collaboration is especially insidious. Now beyond the covert collection of personal data via Facebook, which is bad enough, what’s so unsettling about it is that the US Army is leaning heavily on the fantasy of alien invasions as a way to convince young people to become soldiers in real life. When the soldiers in the movie rise up, when they adapt to a new threat facing the world, when they find a way to win no matter what, remember where Hollywood gets that from. The US Army has been defending American independence for more than 241 years. Go to to learn how you can join their ranks. Independence Day Resurgence in theaters June 24. Problem is, where Hollywood “gets that from” is from fiction, or at least a heavily sanitized version of the US military. Now this cross-branded Earth Space Defense campaign does fit very neatly with the US Army’s PR tagline “Defending America’s independence.” There’s just one small problem with that: it’s not exactly true anymore. The majority of modern US Military operations look a whole lot more like intervention than independence. And those operations are certainly not designed to beat back any invasion of the heartland, either from foreign or extraterrestrial origin. The long and short of it is, the US Government has been in a near constant state of war for over a century. In fact it’s overthrown or invaded over 50 countries just since the end of WWII. In an incredibly strange coincidence most of those military interventions have somehow ended up benefiting or protecting the economic interests of American big business. And under the umbrella of the so-called “war on terror,” the US military is currently raining destruction down on countries all across the Middle East and North Africa. That’s the grim, messy, and often bloody reality of it. And that unpleasant reality is one of the reasons why the US Army is increasingly turning to science fiction stories as a recruiting tool. Heroes. Ordinary people who discover they can do extraordinary things. With unique talents and strengths, they stand together as an elite class. It’s more than a uniform. It’s a chance to be part of something bigger than you ever imagined. Try it on at and see exclusive content for X-Men: First Class. Only in theaters June 3. There’s strong, and then there’s army strong. Science fiction can provide a simple good versus evil narrative, one that appeals to patriotism and a desire to save the world without any association with those real-life military operations and atrocities. Jonathan: In addition to leaning on science fictional conflicts, the US Army is also leveraging science fictional technology and science fictional weaponry as an exciting pop-culture lure to hook young people into enlistment. -Aw, come one. Come on. Aw! Bank left!! Fighting imagined enemies avoids the uncomfortable associations with US foreign policy. So killer robots or zombies or alien invasions, these are all dehumanized conflicts without any messy moral questions attached. There are no real human beings with feelings or families or grievances with US imperialism. -Give me that thing. Jonathan: Invading space aliens are easy to kill. There’s no guilt or remorse or critical thinking that’s required, unlike the real world, where killing other people, no matter how vile they may be, is never something you should feel particularly good about. Independence Day: Resurgence didn’t do so well at the Box Office, so we probably won’t be subjected to another movie in this series. Unfortunately we’ll definitely be seeing the US military using this type of advertising tactic again. That’s because both the US military and the advertising industry understand something that many people still want to deny. And that is that fiction can be a very powerful and very effective way to influence people’s actions and attitudes. The military has a long tradition of intentionally blurring the lines between fiction and reality, but this latest movie tie-in represents a shift to a more insidious form of product placement. And we have a word for when the government does this kind of thing, and that word is propaganda. I hope you found this video useful. If you’d like to see more long-form video essays that focus on the intersections of entertainment and politics, head over to my Patreon page and help fund the Pop Culture Detective Agency.




Across the world, the large majority of recruits to state armed forces and non-state armed groups are male.[1] The proportion of female personnel varies internationally; for example, it is approximately 3% in India,[2] 10% in the UK,[3] 13% in Sweden,[4] 16% in the US,[5] and 27% in South Africa.[6]

While many states do not recruit women for ground close combat roles (i.e. roles which would require them to kill an opponent at close quarters), several have lifted this ban in recent years, including larger Western military powers such as France, the UK, and US.[7][8]

Compared with male personnel and female civilians, female personnel face substantially higher risks of sexual harassment and sexual violence, according to British, Canadian, and US research.[9][10][11]

Some states, including the UK and US, have begun to recognise a right of transgender people to serve openly in their armed forces, although this development has met with political and cultural resistance.[12][13]


State armed forces set minimum and maximum ages for recruitment. In practice, most military recruits are young adults; for example, in 2013 the average age of a United States Army soldier beginning initial training was 20.7 years.[5]

Child recruitment

Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child means a person aged under 18.

The minimum age at which children may be recruited or conscripted under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is 15.[14] States which have ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC) may not conscript children at all, but may enlist children aged 16 or above provided that they are not used to participate directly in hostilities.[15]

Historically, the use of children for military purposes has been widespread—see Children in the military—but has been in decline in the 21st century.[16] According to Child Soldiers International, as of 2017 approximately two-thirds of states worldwide had committed to restrict military recruitment to adults from age 18, and at least 60 non-state armed groups had signed agreements to stop or reduce the use of children for military purposes.[17][16] The organization reported that the so-called Straight 18 standard – the restriction of all military employment to adults – had been emerging as a global norm since 2001.[16]

However, Child Soldiers International also reported in 2018 that at least 46 states were recruiting personnel below the age of 18.[18] Most of these states were recruiting from age 17, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the United States (US); approximately 20 were recruiting from age 16, including Brazil, Canada, and the United Kingdom (UK).[16]

Most states which recruit children under the age of 18 have undertaken not to deploy them routinely on military operations, having ratified the OPAC treaty.[17] According to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG), in 2016 14 states were still recruiting and using children in active armed conflicts: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.[19]

The UNSG also reported that non-state armed groups were recruiting and using children in armed conflict in India, Pakistan,  Palestine, Libya, Philippines and Thailand.[19]

Cross-cultural studies suggest that, in general, children and young people are drawn to military employment for similar reasons: war, economic motivation, education, family and friends, politics, and identity and psychosocial factors.[20]

Socio-economic background

The hope of escaping socio-economic deprivation is one of the main reasons that young people are attracted to military employment.[20][21] For example, after the US suspended conscription in 1973, 'the military disproportionately attracted African American men, men from lower-status socioeconomic backgrounds, men who had been in nonacademic high school programs, and men whose high school grades tended to be low'.[22] As an indication of the socio-economic background of British Army personnel, in 2015 three-quarters of its youngest recruits had the literacy skills normally expected of an 11-year-old or younger, and 7% had a reading age of 5–7.[23] The British Army's recruitment drive in 2017 targeted families with an average annual income of £10,000.[24]

Recruitment for officers typically draws on upwardly-mobile young adults from age 18, and recruiters for these roles focus their resources on high-achieving schools and universities.[22][25] (Canada is an exception, recruiting high-achieving children from age 16 for officer training.[26])

Outreach and marketing

Early years

The process of attracting children and young people to military employment begins in their early years. In Germany, Israel, Poland, the UK, the US, and elsewhere, the armed forces visit schools frequently, including primary schools, to encourage children to enlist once they become old enough to do so.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33] For example, a poster used by the German armed forces in schools reads: "After school you have the world at your feet, make it safer." ["Nach der Schule liegt dir die Welt zu Füßen, mach sie sicherer."][27] In the US, recruiters have right of access to all schools and to the contact details of students,[33] and are encouraged to embed themselves into the school community.[32] A former head of recruitment for the British Army, Colonel (latterly Brigadier) David Allfrey, explained the British approach in 2007:

"Our new model is about raising awareness, and that takes a ten-year span. It starts with a seven-year-old boy seeing a parachutist at an air show and thinking, 'That looks great.' From then the army is trying to build interest by drip, drip, drip."[34]

Popular culture

Recruiters use action films and videogames to promote military employment. Scenes from Hollywood blockbusters (including Behind Enemy Lines and X-Men: First Class)[35][36] have been spliced into military advertising in the US, for example. In the US and elsewhere, the armed forces commission bespoke videogames to present military life to children.[37]

Military schools and youth organisations

Many states operate military schools, cadet forces, and other military youth organisations. For example, Russia operates a system of military schools for children from age 10, where combat skills and weapons training are taught as part of the curriculum.[38] The UK is one of many states that subsidise participation in cadet forces, where children from age 12 play out a stylised representation of military employment.[39]


Armed forces commission recruitment advertising across a wide range of media, including television,[40] radio,[41] cinema,[42] online including social media,[43] the press, billboards,[44] brochures and leaflets,[45] and through merchandising.[46]

Public realm

Recruiters use civic space to promote their military organisation. Among the methods used are recruitment stalls in public spaces, air shows; military amusement parks, such as Patriot Park in Russia; national days, such as the Belgian national day and military parade; and annual armed forces days.


Recruitment marketing seeks to appeal to potential recruits in the following ways:

  • Traditionally masculine associations. Historically and today, recruitment materials frequently associate military life with that of a traditionally masculine warrior, which is officially encouraged as a martial ideal.[47][48][49] For example, Cold War US Army slogans included "Join the army, Be a man" and "The army will make a man out of you";[50] in 2007 a new slogan was introduced: "There’s strong. Then there’s army strong".[51] Similarly, recruiters describe the Israeli infantryman as "discovering all your strengths";[52] the Russian is "beyond fear";[53] and the British is "harder, faster, fitter, stronger".[54]
  • Teamwork and belonging. Some armed forces appeal to potential recruits with the promise of teamwork and camaraderie. An example is the British Army, which introduced the slogan "This is belonging" in 2017.[55]
  • Patriotic service. Some armed forces present military life as a patriotic service. For example, the slogan for the German Bundeswehr is "We. Serve. Germany." ["Wir. Dienen. Deutschland."], and an advertisement for the Israeli Defense Forces encourages potential recruits to "Above all, fight [kravi] for your country, because there is no place better than Israel."[52]
  • Challenge and adventure. Military life is promised to be exciting, including world travel and adventurous training. In 2015, the British Army presentation to schools included prominent images of scuba diving and snowboarding, for example.[56]
  • Education and skills. The armed forces are often presented as a means to learn new skills.[57][55][58] For example, the Swedish armed forces encourage potential recruits with the promise of "education that leads to a job where you can make a difference".[57]

Application process

Typically, candidates for military employment apply online or at a recruitment centre.

Many eligibility criteria normally apply, which may be related to age, nationality, height and weight (body mass index), medical history, psychiatric history, illicit drug use, criminal record, literacy and numeracy, proof of identity, satisfactory references, and whether any tattoos are visible. A minimum standard of academic attainment may be required for entry, for certain technical roles, or for entry to train for a leadership position as a commissioned officer. Candidates who meet the criteria will normally also undergo a medical examination, a battery of questions to test aptitude, and tests of physical strength and stamina.

Depending on whether the application criteria are met, and depending also on which military units have vacancies for new recruits, candidates may or may not be offered a job in a certain role or roles. Candidates who accept a job offer then wait for their recruit training to begin. Either at or before the start of their training, candidates swear an oath of allegiance and/or sign their joining papers.

The period between the initial application to swearing the oath may be several weeks or months. During this time many candidates drop out. For example, in 2017 about 1 in 20 applicants to the British Army were eventually enlisted.[59]

Most state armed forces that enlist minors (persons under the age of 18) are required by law to obtain the informed consent of one or both parents or legal guardians before their child's enlistment can take place.[60] In practice, consent is indicated on a form, which parents/guardians sign.

Once enlistment has taken place, recruits are subject to military terms of service and begin their initial training.

Terms of service

Recruits enter a binding contract of service, which for full-time personnel typically requires a minimum period of service of several years,[61][23][62] with the exception of a short discharge window, near the beginning of their service, allowing them to leave the armed force as of right.[63] Part-time military employment, known as reserve service, allows a recruit to maintain a civilian job while training under military discipline for a minimum number of days per year. After leaving the armed forces, for a fixed period (between four and six years is normal in the UK and US, for example[63][62]), former recruits may remain liable for compulsory return to full-time military employment in order to train or deploy on operations.

From the point of their enlistment/commissioning, personnel become subject to military law, which introduces offences not recognised by civilian courts, such as disobedience. Penalties range from a summary reprimand to imprisonment for several years following a court martial.[64]

Personnel may be posted to bases in their home country or overseas, according to operational need, and may be deployed from those bases on exercises or operations anywhere in the world.

Perks of military service typically include adventurous training; subsidised accommodation, meals and travel; and a pension. Some armed forces also subsidise recruits' education before, during and/or after military service, subject to conditions such as an obligatory minimum period of formal military employment; examples are the St Jean military college in Canada, the Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College in the UK, and the GI Bill arrangements in the US.


Counter-recruitment refers to activity opposing military recruitment, or aspects of it. Among its forms are political advocacy, consciousness-raising, and direct action. The rationale for counter-recruitment activity may be based on any of the following reasons:

Armed forces spokespeople have defended the status quo by recourse to the following:

  • The opinion that military organizations provide a valuable public service.
  • Anecdotal evidence that military employment benefits young people.[86]
  • The opinion that duty of care policies protect recruits from harm.[87]

Recruitment slogans and images


Armed forces have made effective use of short slogans to inspire young people to enlist, with themes ranging from personal development (particularly personal power), societal service, and patriotic duty. For example, as of 2017 current slogans included:


A recruitment poster is a poster used in advertisement to recruit people into an organization, and has been a common method of military recruitment.

Recruitment centres

In India

From the times of the British Raj, recruitment in India has been voluntary. Using Martial Race theory, the British recruited heavily from selected communities for service in the colonial army.[88] The largest of the colonial military forces the British Indian Army of the British Raj until Military of India, was a volunteer army, raised from the native population with British officers. The Indian Army served both as a security force in India itself and, particularly during the World Wars, in other theaters. About 1.3 million men served in the First World War. During World War II, the British Indian Army would become the largest volunteer army in history, rising to over 2.5 million men in August 1945.[89]

In the United Kingdom

During both world wars and a period after the second, military service was mandatory for at least some of the British population. At other times, techniques similar to those outlined above have been used. The most prominent concern over the years has been the minimum age for recruitment, which has been 16 for many years.[90] This has now been raised to 18 in relation to combat operations. In recent years, there have been various concerns over the techniques used in (especially) army recruitment in relation to the portrayal of such a career as an enjoyable adventure.[91][92]

In the United States

The American military has had recruiters since the time of the colonies in the 1700s. Today there are thousands of recruiting stations across the United States, serving the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. Recruiting offices normally consist of 2–8 recruiters between the ranks of E-5 and E-7. When a potential applicant walks into a recruiting station his or her height and weight are checked and their background investigated. A finger print scan is conducted and a practice ASVAB exam is given to them. Applicants can not officially swear their enlistment oath in the recruiting office. This is conducted at a Military Entrance Processing Station – MEPS.

Wartime recruitment strategies in the US

United States Navy recruitment poster from 1918. Note the appeal to patriotism. (Digitally restored).
United States Navy recruitment poster from 1918. Note the appeal to patriotism. (Digitally restored).

Prior to the outbreak of World War I, military recruitment in the US was conducted primarily by individual states.[93] Upon entering the war, however, the federal government took an increased role.

The increased emphasis on a national effort was reflected in World War I recruitment methods. Peter A. Padilla and Mary Riege Laner define six basic appeals to these recruitment campaigns: patriotism, job/career/education, adventure/challenge, social status, travel, and miscellaneous. Between 1915 and 1918, 42% of all army recruitment posters were themed primarily by patriotism.[93] And though other themes – such as adventure and greater social status – would play an increased role during World War II recruitment, appeals to serve one's country remained the dominant selling point.

Recruitment without conscription

In the aftermath of World War II military recruitment shifted significantly. With no war calling men and women to duty, the United States refocused its recruitment efforts to present the military as a career option, and as a means of achieving a higher education. A majority – 55% – of all recruitment posters would serve this end. And though peacetime would not last, factors such as the move to an all-volunteer military would ultimately keep career-oriented recruitment efforts in place.[94] The Defense Department turned to television syndication as a recruiting aid from 1957-1960 with a filmed show, Country Style, USA.

On February 20, 1970, the President’s Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force unanimously agreed that the United States would be best served by an all-volunteer military. In supporting this recommendation, the committee noted that recruitment efforts would have to be intensified, as new enlistees would need to be convinced rather than conscripted. Much like the post-World War II era, these new campaigns put a stronger emphasis on job opportunity. As such, the committee recommended "improved basic compensation and conditions of service, proficiency pay, and accelerated promotions for the highly skilled to make military career opportunities more attractive." These new directives were to be combined with "an intensive recruiting effort."[95] Finalized in mid-1973, the recruitment of a "professional" military was met with success. In 1975 and 1976, military enlistments exceeded expectations, with over 365,000 men and women entering the military. Though this may, in part, have been the result of a lack of civilian jobs during the recession, it nevertheless stands to underline the ways in which recruiting efforts responded to the circumstances of the time.[96]

Indeed, recommendations made by the President's Commission continue to work in present-day recruitment efforts. Understanding the need for greater individual incentive, the US military has re-packaged the benefits of the GI Bill. Though originally intended as compensation for service, the bill is now seen as a recruiting tool. Today, the GI Bill is "no longer a reward for service rendered, but an inducement to serve and has become a significant part of recruiter's pitches."[97]

Recruiting methods

Recruitment can be conducted over the telephone with organized lists, through email campaigns and from face to face prospecting. While telephone prospecting is the most efficient, face to face prospecting is the most effective. Military recruiters often set up booths at amusement parks, sports stadiums and other attractions. In recent years social media has been more commonly used.


See also

World War I recruitment posters featured as part of the decor at the Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, as part of understanding the psychological forces behind recruiting efforts
World War I recruitment posters featured as part of the decor at the Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University, as part of understanding the psychological forces behind recruiting efforts

Related military articles

Recruitment methods and campaigns

United States

Other states


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Further reading

Manigart, Philippe. "Risks and Recruitment in Postmodern Armed Forces: The Case of Belgium." Armed Forces & Society, Jul 2005; vol. 31: pp. 559–582.

Dandeker, Christopher and Alan Strachan. "Soldier Recruitment to the British Army: a Spatial and Social Methodology for Analysis and Monitoring." Armed Forces & Society, Jan 1993; vol. 19: pp. 279–290.

Snyder, William P. "Officer Recruitment for the All-Volunteer Force: Trends and Prospects." Armed Forces & Society, Apr 1984; vol. 10: pp. 401–425.

Griffith, James. "Institutional Motives for Serving in the U.S. Army National Guard: Implications for Recruitment, Retention, and Readiness." Armed Forces & Society, Jan 2008; vol. 34: pp. 230–258.

Fitzgerald, John A. "Changing Patterns of Officer Recruitment at the U.S. Naval Academy." Armed Forces & Society, Oct 1981; vol. 8: pp. 111–128.

Eighmey, John. "Why Do Youth Enlist?: Identification of Underlying Themes." Armed Forces & Society, Jan 2006; vol. 32: pp. 307–328.

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