By Alun Thomas
Phoenix Recruiting Battalion
March 02, 2017
PHOENIX - The 5th Recruiting Brigade commander discussed how the Army is engaging and recruiting millennials during the Equipment and Moldmakers Leadership Summit here Feb. 27.
Even though the Army has widespread respect, many people are unaware of all the opportunities the Army offers, Col. Terance Huston told the attendees. That, he added, makes recruiting challenging, so the Army has developed broad marketing strategies to educate potential recruits and their parents about the Army.
"The Army isn't interested in co-opting young men and women into joining the Army - we just want them to have the opportunity to make an informed decision about their future," Huston said. "There are many myths about serving in the Army, but I assure you, the Army is one of the nation's most versatile forces to meet the most difficult and ever-changing global challenges with the scale and scope to adapt as needed."
Huston said millennials have a strong professional drive. The majority, he said, envision themselves having advanced degrees and a professional job by age 30.
"They're also confident they will achieve their goals and have detailed plans about what school they'll attend and the career they'll pursue," he said.
Huston said this means the Army must engage young Americans and their parents earlier in high school.
"Parents are more involved in the research process and want to ensure that their child has researched thoroughly before making a decision ... which means that we also must engage the parents in very deliberate ways," he said.
Huston also talked about the Army's increased medical benefits and how all military occupational specialties are now open to everyone, regardless of gender.
"It reinforces the Army's relationship with the recruit, the family and the influencers," he said. "Now, more than ever, we need to maintain and build upon the special relationship between the Army and the families that we recruit."
Huston said he gains energy from the young people he meets in his travels.
"To get the best and the best out of them, they must be informed and knowledgeable," he said. "Our future is only as good as the young people we develop ... and their future is only as bright as the mentorship we give them."
Huston believes young men and women want to serve others and play an active role in setting conditions for society's success, he said.
"They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves … they want to make the world a better place," he said. "We also must make sure they never lose their desire to selflessly serve others and serve their communities."