Calling all college seniors.
Are you worried about having to wear a suit, fetch coffee and make copies in your first job post-graduation?
U.S. Army Recruiting Command would like you to consider an alternative: become a soldier.
Its newest ad, “This Instead,” says that unlike civilians who enter the job market fresh out of college, you won’t be the bottom rung on the totem pole. You’ll be a leader.
Because everyone knows that, just out of Officer Candidate School, Army 2nd lieutenants are in charge of everything. And they are most certainly not the butt of any jokes about rank entitlement and poor land navigation skills.
This video is part of the Army’s latest recruiting campaign: “Decide to Lead.” The ad’s closing line suggests soldiers can “skip entry level.”
It follows the branch’s latest line of recruitment pushes designed to make civilian life look terrible in comparison to military life. The last batch, “Know Your Army,” centered on the so-called benefits of being in the military, including pension, paid parental leave, early retirement, and homebuying.
While it is true that officers are technically in leadership roles placed higher in the hierarchy of rank structure than enlisted troops, all soldiers must earn their stripes with grunt work, trust, and team building — just like any corporate job in America.
Even though the Army might do work to inflate newly minted officers’ egos during OCS, soldiers must also contend with the inability to choose where in the world they live, what jobs they have, or if the housing where they reside is livable or has wall-to-wall black mold. Even coffee-fetching civilians never have to worry about that.
In a House Armed Services Committee panel held July 19, Army leadership revealed it will likely be at least 7,000 soldiers short of its staffing goal at the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.
While retention is high at 57,000, about 3,000 more soldiers reenlisted than than the expected 54,000, the Army’s number issues lie with recruiting.
“We are examining a wide range of additional steps we could take in the short and longer term to recruit more soldiers into the Army without lowering standards or sacrificing quality,” said Army Secretary Christine Wormuth in a previous statement to Army Times.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.