After missing recruitment targets, U.S. Army creating video game teams to compete in competitive egaming tournaments
The Army missed its fiscal year recruitment target for the first time since 2005 and is currently working to enlist over 500,000 new recruits over the next four years. Low unemployment and high rates of ineligibility (mostly due to poor physical fitness and drug use) have made recruitment difficult. Traditional recruitment methods have also proved ineffective among millennials. As part of the multi-facited strategy and tactics for landing these new recruits, however, the army is putting together video game teams to participate in and penetrate competitive gaming tournaments in hopes that it will improve their recruitment success. A recent market estimate calculated that over 23 million Americans, overwhelmingly men, participate in the esports industry, with an estimated 1 million service members already involved. Several military branches have been moving in this direction and actively seeking inroads into this new industry to improve its recruitment strategies and help meet recruitment shortfalls.