USAREC Commanding General
As we look toward our role in recruiting the Army of 2020, we must consider that prospects for Army 2020 are just now turning 12 years old - all they have known of the military so far is about conflict in the Middle East.
How will that shape their propensity to serve? How will we communicate with them? How will we garner their interest? Who will be our advocates for the next six years to help them in making decisions for their future?
How, too, has the dozen years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan shaped future conflicts? We believe a series of powerful global trends is already in place to shape the strategic environment, creating a complex mix of threats, opportunities for violence, and emerging political motivators. Combining struggles for land and water, emerging information technologies, political, cultural and religious agendas, and changing economic realities, we will face an environment more complex than we have heretofore known. In order to be ready for the fast-approaching future of 2020, we must transition from an army at war to a force in preparation for that future.
Intellectually, we know we must adapt our training and technologies. But if we enhance our Army's capabilities, must we not also find and recruit those individuals with the intellectual agility and adaptability to survive and thrive within those enhanced capabilities?
I recently changed our mission statement to read: From 1 October 2013 through September 2019, the Army (USAREC) will recruit professional, volunteer Soldiers for Soldier 2020, Soldiers who are capable of effectively executing operations in the Army's complex operating environment.
We are already struggling with a challenging Reserve mission. Will that struggle be our "canary in the coal mine," the harbinger of other systemic challenges? Or will the Reserve mission begin our commitment to innovation and brainstorming ideas to bring us to recruiting success for Army 2020? The rest of the Army is working through what the Army of 2020 will look like. I challenge USAREC to think about this: The high school seniors we will recruit in 2020 are in 6th grade now. Can you answer these questions: How will we communicate with them? How will we garner their interest? Who will be our advocates for the next six years to help them in making decisions for their future?
Let me know your thoughts.