Army's Wicked New Mallrat Recruitment Tool

05army_large2 The New York Times has an excellent piece on the Army's new urban recruiting tool: a $13 million video arcade in suburban Philly.

That's right. According to the Times, the Army is having a hard time recruiting in urban areas. So the service set up the 14,500 square foot "Army Experience Center" in the Franklin Mills Mall. The place is packed with first-person shooters, full-scale simulators (and 22 recruiters).

In many ways, this makes sense. As Noah has already reported, the Army is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar push to create more videogames to prep troops for combat. The service's PEO-STRI (Program Executive Office - Simulation and Training) is also planning to install 70 gaming systems at Army installations around the globe by September.

The Army is also relaxing recruitment standards to allow more couch potatoes to sign up for service. The Christian Science Monitor has a piece today about how the Army has enacted a new waiver program that allows overweight enlistees a chance to get in shape after joining. Around 1,500 individuals (out of a pool about 80,000 recruits) have enlisted through the program.

The Monitor piece also notes another great new recruiting tool: the recession. "If the economic recession worsens, it could help the military's recruiting efforts as people seek stable employment," the story notes.


No comments: