Military recruitment

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Military recruitment is the act of requesting people, usually male adults, to join a military voluntarily. Involuntary military recruitment is known as conscription. Many countries that have abolished conscription use military recruiters to persuade people to join, often at an early age. To facilitate this process, militaries have established recruiting commands. These units are solely responsible for increasing military enlistment.

Wartime recruitment strategies in the US

Prior to the outbreak of World War I, military recruitment in the US was conducted primarily by individual states. [1] Upon entering the war, however, the federal government took on an increased role. The increased emphasis on a national effort was reflected in WWI recruitment methods. Peter A. Padilla and Mary Riege Laner define six basic appeals to these recruitment campaigns: patriotism, job/career/education, adventure/challenge, social status, travel, and miscellaneous. Between 1915 and 1918, 42% of all army recruitment posters were themed primarily by patriotism.[1] And though other themes - such as adventure and greater social status - would play an increased role during World War II recruitment, appeals to serve one’s country remained the dominant selling point.

After WWII, military recruitment shifted significantly. With no war calling men and women to duty, the United States refocused its recruitment efforts to present the military as a career option, and as a means of achieving a higher education. A majority - 55% - of all recruitment posters would serve this end. And though peacetime would not last, factors such as the move to an all-volunteer military would ultimately keep career-oriented recruitment efforts in place. [1]

See also

External links

Military recruitment sites

Critics of recruitment

Other reports

  • School Recruiting Program Handbook. United States Army Recruiting Command (September 1, 2004). Retrieved on October 21, 2008. Among other things, the recruiting manual advises recruiters to make a point of showing up at events such as Black History Month, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, and Hispanic Heritage Month.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Padilla, Peter A. and Mary Riege Laner. "Trends in Military Influences on Army Recruitment: 1915-1953." Sociological Inquiry, Vol. 71, No. 4. Fall 2001421-36. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Wikipedia also has an article on Military recruitment. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.