The various branches of the armed forces have refined their recruitment tactics over the years, seeking out high school and college students at malls, career fairs, and now through the internet. Lt. General Benjamin Freakley, the head of the Army command that oversees recruitment, believes that social networking websites offer a unique opportunity to reach the soldiers of tomorrow. Freakley thinks Facebook could be an effective tool in communicating with 18-24 year-olds, the age range that the Army targets for potential recruits. “You could friend your recruiter, and then he could talk to your friends,” Freakley states. Utilizing Facebook, the Army could reach out to high school and college students on a much broader scale.
In addition to a Facebook page, the Army also maintains a Twitter feed and blog which adds a new dimension to recruitment. Instead of listening to recruiters drone on about the benefits of the Army, recruiters, soldiers, and civilians are welcome to contribute in an open forum. Because of this open forum, people interested in a career in the Army can see comments from both sides of the fence, and determine whether Army culture is right for their lifestyle. Online social media has revolutionized the manner in which armed forces recruitment takes place, and the Army isn’t the only branch of the military reaping the benefits.