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U.S. Army Forming An eSports Team To Help In Recruitment

U.S. Army eSports

In 2018, the U.S. Army has missed its annual recruitment target of 6,500 for the for the first time. With low employment in the overall U.S. economy, the attraction of the service is not compelling as potential recruits have more options in the job market. The Army decided to tweak its recruitment process and implementing new approaches.

One such approach that may help meet recruitment goals is eSports.

A big number of Americans play video games. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 60% of the population play video games everyday with 35% of this market are American males ages 21 to 35. With this big portion of the population into video games and eSports getting bigger with lucrative competitive leagues not having global following, it is hard for the Army to ignore eSports.

Thus, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command  since September 2018 is forming an eSports team comprised of active soldiers and this program has attracted over 4,000 applications which makes it an attractive option for soldiers to help boost recruitment.

In a news post a the website, Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, commanding general for U.S. Army Recruiting Command said that, "If we are going to be successful in recruiting, then we need to be where young people are -- and they are operating in the digital world. There are already thousands of current Soldiers who are competitive online gamers. Now we are giving them a chance to use their talents to help us relate to and connect with other young gamers.

They will have the ability to start a dialogue about what it is like to serve in our Army and see if they are interested in joining."

As explained by the Army Recruitment Command eSports Page:

The United States Army eSports Team is a competition team of the U.S. Army. Its members are drawn from the Regular Army and Army Reserves.

This team will be part of the Marketing and Engagement Brigade based at Fort Knox. They will operate much like the Golden Knights and the Army Marksmanship Unit to create awareness about the Army and the opportunities it provides.

This team will represent the Army in competitions and events across the nation.

Soldiers have expressed a strong desire to represent the Army in competitive gaming. They have shown Army leaders how gaming can help us connect to young people and show them a side of Soldiers they may not expect. This initiative will help make our Soldiers more visible and relatable to today's youth.
Members of the eSports outreach teams are not recruiters. They will be in a support role to help young people see Soldiers in a different light and understand the many different roles people can have in the Army. They will help the Army address the growing disconnect with society.

Competitive online gaming will be part of the duties of the eSports team. Soldiers on this team will travel to various events and compete for the Army.

The outreach team members will receive the same pay and benefits as other Soldiers of equal rank across the Army. All expenses associated with certifications, competitions and other requirements of the job will be paid by the Army.

It can also be a lucrative endeavor for the members of the Army eSports team if they are competitive enough to go against the best in the various eSports leagues such as Call of Duty, Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege, and more. These leagues offer millions in total cash prizes with members of leading eSports teams accorded rock star status.

Once the eSports team of Army gets formed, they will start competing by Summer 2019.


Photo Source: US Army eSports Facebook Page